In March 2017, the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) on food security situation reported that the Sahel region was facing another food insecurity crisis with a scale considered to be the fifth largest food insecurity crisis since the year 2005. Within the last 15 years, the food crisis cycle has occurred in the years 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2017. These consecutive crisis, mainly caused by drought and lack of rainfall, have left local populations each time in a deeper state of vulnerability to food insecurity issues. In addition to this, civil insecurity, banditry and inter-communal conflicts, coupled with the disruption of livelihoods and the depletion of food stocks during the lean season, were among the factors that drastically limited the availability and access to food in the most affected areas. This situation was exacerbated by alarming displacement of people, involving nearly 4.9 million internally displaced people and refugees; an increase in food prices by 10 percent compared to the average and a drastic drop in the prices of the animals.
Coastal countries and Nigeria have experienced high food price increase which, coupled with local currency depreciation, have reduced the purchasing power of households. These compounding factors have minimized the capacity of local populations to adapt to reinforce their coping mechanism and become resilient.
In Niger, the Food security situation continued to be alarming. According to the FEWSNET report on Food security situation in Niger published in February 2018, the reportedly Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes for poor households in pastoral areas in February 2018 could extend to the month of September 2018 with the premature deterioration of pastoral conditions as a result of the pasture deficit. Certain poor households in agricultural and agropastoral areas will be facing these same conditions through September 2018 due to the premature depletion of their food stocks and their weak purchasing power. Armed attacks continue to disrupt local livelihoods and markets in the Diffa region, hindering trading opportunities with Nigeria and Libya. The persistent Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of acute food insecurity in this region will extend through at least September 2018. Without assistance, certain poor pastoral households could be facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions in June-July 2018.