Nigeria Food Security Outlook Update, April 2021

Situation Report
Originally published
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Assistance needs in the Northeast are elevated due to increasing conflict and large-scale displacement


• Increasing of already high levels of conflict in the Northeast is limiting humanitarian activities, agricultural labor activities, as well as the ongoing dry season harvest and household purchasing power. This is driving an increase in the population facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes.
Most hard-to-reach areas of Borno State continue to rely on foraging as they have little or no food stocks with limited market access. These areas are expected to remain in Emergency (IPC Phase 4). During the lean season, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected to emerge due to limited ability to engage in typical livelihood activities as populations have been displaced multiple times and access constraints will limit food assistance. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists in a worst-case scenario if households are cut off from their typical food and income sources and humanitarian assistance for a prolonged period of time.

• Persistent and recent attacks in Damasak, Dikwa, and Marte LGAs in Borno State have led to over 60,000 people displaced to safer areas, mainly to Maiduguri, based on available information from REACH and IOM. Similar attacks on Geidam LGA in Yobe state led to the displacement of several thousand residents towards neighboring Yusufari, Yunusari, and Damaturu LGAs in Yobe state. Many displaced households face difficulty engaging in typical livelihood activities in the areas where they are displaced to and rely heavily on limited humanitarian assistance. Consequently, many displaced populations are experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes, while the worst affected are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4).

• In the Northwest, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes continue and are expected to persist in the worst conflict-affected areas, particularly among displaced households due to limited livelihood activities and dry season food production. Most conflict-affected households continue to rely mainly on the market for food, where rising food prices constrain access. While some households are consuming own foods and market-dependent households are accessing food normally. Many others are selling livestock to earn income and access food typically, though unable to meet their non-food needs, and are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2).

• The macroeconomic conditions remain poor, largely due to declining foreign reserves. The annual inflation rate continues to increase for the 19th straight month to 18.17 percent in March, with monthly food inflation hitting a nearly 16-year high at 22.95 percent. Similarly, the value of the Naira continuesto depreciate relative to other foreign currencies leading to further pressure on already stressed markets. This, coupled with high demand, reduces household purchasing power as unemployment rates continue their upward trend.