Prevalence of severe food insecurity

Published : November 2020

When looking at the regional overview, it is important to distinguish between absolute numbers and the level of prevalence of severe food insecurity. High numbers of people in “Crisis” or worse situation (phase 3-5) do not always mean high prevalence. Nigeria, for example, has an average prevalence of 6.9%, close to the regional average of 6.2%. However, prevalence largely varies within the country. The three crisis-affected States in the northeast (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe) have very high levels of prevalence of severe food insecurity: nearly one out of three people needs emergency assistance. The northern regions of Burkina Faso reached the highest prevalence level of 52% in the region (June CH update). Sierra Leone is the country with the highest national prevalence level (15.8%). Given its small population size, it is, however, usually not quoted among the acute food insecurity hotspots. At the regional level, Sierra Leone ranked position 5 of countries with the largest number of people requiring urgent support.

Countries : Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

Themes : Agriculture & Value chains, Food security, Markets, prices & trade, Nutrition, Resilience, Social protection

Scale : Local, National, Regional (West Africa)

Langs : English

See also

ECOWAS countries with more than 1 million acutely-food insecure people (phases 3-5)


Acutely-food insecure people in the UEMOA area (phase 3-5)


The ECOWAS area facing the 2021 food and nutrition crisis


The UEMOA area facing the 2021 food and nutrition crisis


Food and nutrition trends in the Sahel and West Africa, 2017-21