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West Africa Key Message Update, September 2018

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The 2018/19 harvest is expected to be average to above-average

Key Messages

  • The regularity of rains since July in most of the region has allowed for the normal development of crops that are currently nearing their most mature phase. Currently maize, peanut and yam harvests are ongoing in the coastal countries while the green harvest is happening in the Sahelian countries. Despite losses from pests like the fall armyworm, the September 2018 meeting of the PREGEC held in Lomé, presented an expectation for average to above-average 2018/19 harvests.

  • Livestock feed conditions – water and pastures are overall better than they were in June and July in the areas of concern in Niger and Mauritania. In the central-north and north of Senegal pasture conditions remain poorer than average for the second consecutive year. The market demand brought on by the Tabaski holiday created a price increase for livestock compared to past months. These prices were higher than average but less for cattle in the eastern basin due to the poor level exports to Nigeria.

  • The supply of local cereals is well below average but still able to meet demand. Good harvests in the coastal countries and the good ongoing agricultural season are encouraging traders to sell their remaining stocks which along with various types of humanitarian assistance is contributing to the stability or in some cases the seasonal decline in prices. However, prices remain above average, particularly in the northeast of Nigeria. In the Lake Chad Basin and in the north and center of Mali, markets remain disrupted due to insecurity.

  • Most of the region will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity until January 2019. Overall, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) will continue to affect, until October, the center-west of Mauritania due to significant agricultural production and pasture deficits, and the significant deterioration of livelihoods that affect consumption for poor households.

  • There will also be Crisis (IPC Phase 3) conditions in Diffa region of Niger and the Lake Chad region due to the Boko Haram conflict, and in CAR due to armed conflict. Households in northeast Nigeria affected by the Boko Haram conflict continue to depend on humanitarian aid to access food and are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3), while those who do not have access to assistance are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4). In nearby areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, the food security situation could be similar or worse.