Nigeria: Cash suitability assessment for food assistance in Konduga (December 2017)

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Following eight years of conflict in Northeast Nigeria, the region is experiencing significant humanitarian needs. In Borno State, the area most heavily affected by the crisis, 1.37 million people were internally displaced as of the start of 2017,1 and 30% of the population reportedly faced critical food insecurity situations as of October 2017.2 In response to this food security crisis, humanitarian actors have sought to provide vulnerable populations with food assistance through both in-kind food distributions and cash-based food assistance.

It is within this context that the Nigeria Food Security Sector approached REACH to conduct an assessment in order to determine the most appropriate food assistance modality in the town of Konduga, the capital of Konduga Local Government Area (LGA) in Borno State. As Sector members intended to provide food assistance to the entire population of the town, which they estimated to be approximately 60,000, the assessment targeted both internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host populations.

This assessment was carried out in close collaboration with operational partners that have recently been involved in the provision of food aid to Konduga Town, and was coordinated through the Food Security Sector. The assessment used a mixed methodology, gathering primary data from a number of sources. A total of 447 household surveys were conducted in Konduga Town, with the population divided into the following four groups based on settlement type for the purposes of random sampling: 1) IDPs in camps (109 surveys); 2) IDPs living in the host community (99 surveys); 3) Households living in informal sites (105 surveys); 4) Host population including returnees (134 surveys).3 The households surveys had a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of 10% within each sampled population group, and had a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error when aggregated to the level of the overall town population. The household surveys focused on food assistance modality preferences, reasons for those preferences, and access to food, markets, cash, and in-kind distributions.

Furthermore, 10 focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with households (one men’s and one women’s FGD for each of the four population groups, along with one men’s and one women’s FGD for IDPs who had arrived within the past month), as well as 16 interviews with Bulamas (traditional community leaders) about their food assistance modality preferences for their communities. In addition, 49 food vendors in Konduga Town were interviewed, primarily on security and non-security challenges to conducting business, how they were supplied, the process of transporting goods to Konduga, and their estimated volumes of trade. These interviews were complemented by 3 FGDs with vendors, 2 interviews with heads of traders, and 3 interviews with Maiduguri-based suppliers of food vendors in Konduga.

Findings from this assessment apply only to food assistance in the town of Konduga and cannot be generalised to other parts of Konduga LGA, other towns or areas outside the LGA, or to non-food aid.