West and Central Africa: Humanitarian Bulletin, April 2016

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 29 Apr 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Three million people in the Lake Chad region are facing severe food shortages.

  • In Nigeria’s Borno and Yobe states, 800,000 people need immediate assistance.

  • Clashes between herders and farmers in Côte d’Ivoire displace over 6,000 people.

  • Between January and April, DRC reports 5,757 cholera cases.

  • Ebola resurfaces for the third time in Liberia, Guinea sees its first flare-up.

KEY FIGURES

People displaced in Lake Chad Basin - 2.4M

Severely food insecure people in Lake Chad Basin - 2.9M

People facing crisis level of food insecurity in the Sahel - 6.7M

Rising food insecurity across Lake Chad Basin

Food insecurity in the Lake Chad region, already at crisis levels, is expected to further deepen as families exhaust their last reserves and the lean season progresses.
Three million people are currently facing severe food shortages. The majority of the food insecure people are in Nigeria’s north-eastern Borno and Yobe states.

Immediate emergency assistance required

According to a joint UN multi-sectoral assessment, carried out in April, in Borno alone, some 1.6 million people are facing severe food insecurity, with more than 550,000 in urgent need of immediate food assistance. In Yobe, 255,000 people (200,000 people in rural areas and 55,000 IDPs and host populations in Damaturu, the state capital) are severely food insecure.

With the upcoming rainy season, food insecurity in north-eastern Nigeria is expected to further worsen between May and September, when the number of people in urgent need is likely to increase. Rainfall is forecast to be unstable and abnormally low in the region.

Depleted reserves

Cereal stocks across households in Chad’s western Lac region are depleted, as reserves were shared with the displaced. Families now depend on markets, where supply shortages have been reported, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET).

In Cameroon, displacement, conflict and disrupted livelihoods have left some 203,000 people severely food insecure. IDP figures in the Far North region now stand at 170,000, a seven per cent over the last four months.

Niger’s southern Diffa region, which hosts some 100,000 displaced people, is expected to see the highest levels of food insecurity in the country. Already, almost 160,000 are severely food insecure. As in the other conflict-hit areas, the adversity of the conflict has stocked hunger among the local communities and the displaced people. FEWS NET foresees the current food insecurity persisting in Diffa until at least September, particularly in the areas around Komadougou River - a natural border between Niger and Nigeria - due to insecurity.

In Chad, there will be a heavy dependence of households on markets, particularly in areas reporting large shortfalls in cereal production and in the western Lac region.

Dysfunctional markets

Several markets in the region have been destroyed by attacks. Others have been temporarily or permanently closed as a preventive measure against further possible attacks. Border closures and insecurity have forced traders to reduce activities or seek alternative, at times longer, routes. As a result of increased transport costs, commodity prices have gone up in a number of markets. The disruption of markets and transport has also affected cross-border trade. The closure of Nigeria’s Damassak market has choked off supply to Diffa, in neighbouring Niger. Border markets in Cameroon have also been closed due to insecurity.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.