Niger Food Security Brief, May 2014

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Over the last three decades, FEWS NET has steadily built a core set of integrated materials on livelihoods, household vulnerability, nutrition, trade, and agro-climatology through fieldwork and secondary data collection and research. FEWS NET also looks beyond the immediate context to understand the broader context and the underlying causes of food insecurity. This Food Security Brief draws on FEWS NET research and an array of other sources to provide an overview of the food security context and the main determinants of chronic and acute food insecurity, and highlight areas or livelihood zones at most risk of food insecurity. It is a starting point for anyone seeking a deep understanding of the range of factors influencing food security in Niger.

The brief is organized around the FEWS NET Household Livelihoods Analytical Framework, which looks at underlying and proximate causes of food insecurity as a means to inform outcomes at the regional and household levels. At the core of this analysis is an understanding of hazards and their magnitude and extent, household vulnerability to hazards, and coping capacity in response. Together these factors determine the risk of food security at the household level. A household’s level of vulnerability to a particular hazard will vary depending on how the household meets its basic needs, which is related to its livelihood system. Livelihood systems comprise the assets or capitals (social, natural, physical, financial, productive, and human) available to a household. For this reason, FEWS NET relies on livelihoods-based analysis to evaluate food security risks.