West Africa Key Message Update: Probable improvement of the food security situation beginning in October except in the Lake Chad Basin, September 2017
Despite increased food aid in northeast Nigeria, the area continue to record the highest levels of food insecurity in the region. The many displaced populations are heavily dependent on food assistance. Also, food availability and access to markets in reduced and households face high food prices. For example, many populations in Yobe, Adamawa, and particularly Borno State are still affected by acute food insecurity in line with Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Civilian populations still in the inaccessible areas of Borno State regmain at high risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5).
Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity affect poor households in the western agropastoral area of Mauritania due to continuing shortfalls in livelihood protection over the past few years, in Mali in in the rice and pastoral regions of Gao and Timbuktu and in parts of the Niger Delta and Western Sahel, until September due to a longer than usual lean season and reduced market access.
The persistence of the security crisis in the Lake Chad Basin continue to disrupt main livelihoods and the normal functioning of markets, keeping the Lake Chad region of Chad Crisis (IPC Phase 3!) and the Diffa region of Niger in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until at least January 2018. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity also affect poor households in the northern regions of Wadi Fira and Geura and south of the Kanem and BEG in Chad due to depletion of stocks, an early and harsh lean season, and declining purchasing power.
Harvests began in July in the coastal countries and crops are available in local markets and supply the Sahelian markets for some products. In these markets, supplies remain sufficient to satisfy demand through the marketing of commercial stocks, stimulated by the ease of the agricultural season and the regularity of imports. However, in the Lake Chad Basin, flows remain disrupted by civil insecurity, resulting in price increases in the Maradi and Zinder regions above the average of 25 percent. In Nigeria, the depreciation of the Naira keeps prices above the average, particularly in conflict zones.
Seasonal progress is satisfactory in the region according to the PREGEC meeting held in Conakry in September 2017. Harvests in 2017/18 may be above average for cereals (9-20 percent), tubers (3-9 percent) and legumes. Fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) infestations in Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and the Gambia appear to be under control and damage is limited. The food security situation will improve slightly from October onwards with harvests that will allow household stocks to be rebuilt. Food prices will experience their seasonal decline, except in Nigeria.