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Food and nutrition situation 2019-20

Some 9.4 million people are estimated to be in immediate need of assistance (phases 3-5) in October-December 2019 in the 16 countries analysed in the Sahel and West Africa region, including 4 million in Nigeria, 1.5 million in Niger and 1.2 million in Burkina Faso. This situation is likely to worsen, mainly due to insecurity. By June-August 2020, 14.4 million people (5.4%) are projected to be in a crisis situation or worse, including 1.2 million in an emergency situation (phase 4). These findings are based on the national analyses that took place in October and November 2019 using the Cadre harmonisé guidebook 2.0 and its new analytical tools. The work was co-ordinated by CILSS with the participation of technical partners (ACF, EC-JRC, FAO, FEWS NET, IFRC, IPC/GSU, OXFAM, Save the Children, SWAC/OECD and WFP).

Key figures

Key findings

  • 9.4 million people are estimated to be in immediate need of assistance (phases 3-5) in October-December 2019 in the 16 countries analysed in the Sahel and West Africa region, including 4 million in Nigeria, 1.5 million in Niger and 1.2 million in Burkina Faso. This situation is likely to worsen, mainly due to insecurity. By June-August 2020, 14.4 million people (5.4%) are projected to be in a crisis situation or worse, including 1.2 million in an emergency situation (phase 4).
  • Civil insecurity has led to a sharp increase in the number of displaced people, particularly in northern Burkina Faso (480 000 people), northwestern Nigeria (310 000 people) and Niger (180 000 people). Nigeria still counts nearly 1.9 million internally displaced people. The majority are hosted in local communities, placing increasing pressure on food resources and local livelihoods in the short and long term.
  • Despite humanitarian assistance, the food and nutrition situation of internally displaced people (IDPs) and refugees remains a major concern, due to limited resources, continued displacement and difficult humanitarian access. More than a third, or 262 000 people living in IDP camps in nine local government areas (LGAs) in Borno State, Nigeria, are in a food crisis or worse (phases 3-5); similarly, 17 000 of the 70 000 Malian refugees in five official camps in Niger are in need of increased urgent assistance.
  • Agro-pastoral production has been good overall, above the five-year average. However, trade is severely disrupted, particularly in the Sahel regions of Burkina Faso, Mopti in Mali and Tillabéry in Niger. Trade flows also remain disturbed in the Lake Chad basin and northern Mali.
  • The nutrition situation remains alarming throughout the region. While there has been a slight decrease in the prevalence of acute malnutrition in some areas of Niger and northeastern Nigeria, the global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate exceeds the emergency threshold (>15%) in some areas in Burkina Faso, Chad and Mali.

Key drivers

  • Insecurity: The security situation has weakened people’s livelihoods by increasing their exposure to severe food and nutrition insecurity, particularly in the Lake Chad basin, the Liptako-Gourma area and northern Mali.
  • Displacement: Civil insecurity has led to a sharp increase in the number of displaced persons in northern Burkina Faso, in the border areas between Niger and Nigeria and in northeastern Nigeria.
  • Market failures: Trade flows are severely disrupted by insecurity and internal displacement in affected areas.
  • Border closure: Nigeria’s closure of its land borders with Benin and Niger has disrupted cross-border trade since late August 2019.
  • Flooding: Heavy rains damaged crops in several areas in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Sierra Leone.
  • Dry spells: Prolonged dry spells and poor spatial and temporal distribution have affected agricultural and forage production, particularly in Mauritania’s border areas with Mali and Senegal, between Niger and Chad, and in north-central Burkina Faso.

Recommendations

Urgent actions:

  • Establish and co-ordinate immediate assistance for populations in crisis (phase 3) and emergency (phase 4) situations, particularly in the Lake Chad basin and the Liptako-Gourma area, as well as in northern Mali, the Sahelian strip of Chad and southwestern Mauritania. Recommended actions: targeted free food distribution, cash transfer programmes and subsidised food sales.
  • Strengthen food and nutrition assistance in refugee and IDP camps; carry out actions for IDPs and refugees living outside the official camps and support their host communities; ensure the deployment of food and humanitarian assistance in areas with limited humanitarian access.
  • Conduct preventive interventions for populations under pressure (phase 2) to support their livelihoods and strengthen their resilience. This includes facilitating access to agricultural inputs and implementing social safety net projects for vulnerable populations.
  • Secure and facilitate livestock transhumance to prevent community conflicts; increase livestock availability and access to food, water and healthcare in areas with significant forage deficits.
  • Strengthen actions to prevent and manage acute malnutrition in the region.

To strengthen the monitoring and surveillance system:

  • Build technical and financial capacity to enable national institutions to collect data, including gender-disaggregated data.
  • Establish conditions for data collection in non-accessible areas.
  • Strengthen monitoring and evaluation of the impact of national, regional and international responses on the ground.
  • Mobilise resources to develop and implement the Cadre harmonisé analyses at country and regional level (i.e. training, facilitation and coaching, etc.)
  • Improve the sharing and usage of the Cadre harmonisé analyses and key findings.

Methodology

These findings are based on the national analyses that took place in October and November 2019 using the Cadre harmonisé guidebook 2.0 and its new analytical tools. Liberia, several areas of Côte d’Ivoire and four inaccessible areas in Borno State, Nigeria (Abadam, Guzamala, Kukawa and Marte) were not included due to lack of data. The data analysed comes mainly from food security and vulnerability surveys, household economic analyses, nutritional and mortality surveys. For the first time, a special analysis of food and nutrition insecurity was conducted in nine camps for internally displaced people in Nigeria (Bama, Damboa, Dikwa, Gwoza, Jere, Konduga, Maiduguri, Monguno and Ngala) and five refugee camps in Niger (Abala, Intikan, Mangaïzé, Sayam Forage and Tabarey-Berey). Similarly, hard-to-reach areas in Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria were analysed using the special protocols in the Cadre harmonisé guidebook 2.0. The national analyses were reviewed, harmonised and validated by the Cadre harmonisé Regional Technical Committee (Niamey, 18-23 November 2019). The work was co-ordinated by CILSS with the participation of technical partners (ACF, EC-JRC, FAO, FEWS NET, IFRC, IPC/GSU, OXFAM, Save the Children, SWAC/OECD and WFP).

Partners

The Cadre harmonisé analysis was co-ordinated by CILSS

Technical partners

Financial partners