Key messages for decision makers
Due to the inability of households to engage in farming during the past two years, Dikwa and its environs have been transformed from being one of the breadbaskets of Borno State to an area of large food production deficit.
A large portion of households (89%) have poor and borderline food consumption (39% and 50% respectively) while the mean reduced coping strategy index remains high (22).
Prevailing security restrictions have impacted negatively on the functioning of the livestock market, thus constraining the purchasing power of agro-pastoral households.
Though the market for staple food is functioning, the food production deficit in the area has contributed to a reduced availability of food commodities and high prices. The situation could further deteriorate in the coming months, leading to skyrocketing prices.
Sustained food assistance to the most vulnerable households will be crucial during the lean season to prevent widespread incidents of food insecurity and malnutrition.
From 9th to 13th January 2017, WFP conducted a rapid food security assessment as part of the rapid response mechanism (RRM) to Dikwa. Following the recapture of Dikwa by Nigerian Armed Forces in July 2015, the residents began returning home. With the military operations launched by the Nigerian Forces to liberate the remaining settlements under Boko Ha-ram control, the affected population continue to seek refuge in main cities.
Thus, in addition to the IDPs returning to their places of origin, humanitarian actors have had to respond to the needs of new IDPs who are fleeing military opera-tions or have been advised to come into safe areas.
Dikwa symbolizes not only the complexity of the main challenges faced by humanitarian community in responding to rapidly changing needs in hard to reach areas, but also how effective coordination amongst food security sectors and partners could prevent further deterioration in the food security and nutrition situation.
The International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) has been the main humanitarian organization which pro-vided food assistance to the people of Dikwa until December 2016. In January 2017, ICRC handed over all their beneficiaries in Dikwa to WFP to ensure con-tinued provision of food assistance to this population.