Continuing insecurity increases humanitarian needs while reducing access to vulnerable populations
The 2019/20 harvests in West Africa are estimated to be above average for all crops, although significant declines are recorded in the western part of the region and locally in the Sahelian countries of the Central and Eastern basins. The off-season harvests that have begun are improving food availability and providing income to households. In the Liptako Gourma region, continued and more violent attacks against the military and civilians continue to lead to an increase in IDPs and the deterioration or even loss of livelihoods.
The low availability of pasture locally in the pastoral areas of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad is aggravated by insecurity, which greatly disrupts livestock movements. Poor grazing conditions remain a concern in western Mauritania and northern Senegal for the third year in a row and is leading to increased pressure on pastoral resources in western Mali by Mauritanian herds.
Market supplies remain regular and adequate as a result of the current harvest and above-average carryover stocks. However, regional trade is disrupted in several locations. The closure of Nigeria's land borders mainly hinders trade flows with neighboring Benin and Niger. Market functioning and access remain disrupted in the Lake Chad Basin, the Liptako-Gourma region and the Tibesti region due to conflict and insecurity. Local commodity prices are lower than last year and average levels in most markets. Regional price levels will follow normal seasonal trends - similar or below average in most countries. However, atypical trends are expected in conflict areas and those affected by trade restrictions.
Most of the region will remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) until May 2020, and in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) for some. However, the persistence of insecurity in northern Burkina Faso, central and northern Mali, western Niger, northwestern Nigeria, and the Lake Chad Basin will continue to increase the number of IDPs and refugees. Humanitarian aid will help to maintain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) in the Mopti and Gao regions of Mali, Diffa in Niger, and Lac in Chad.
Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity continue to prevail in Tillabéry region in Niger, Soum and surrounding areas in Burkina Faso, eastern CAR, and English-speaking regions of Cameroon due to armed conflict and civil insecurity that significantly disrupt household livelihoods and greatly reduce the distribution of humanitarian assistance. FEWS NET estimates that 2.5 to 3.5 million people could be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse between June and August 2020 in the Liptako Gourma region. Households in Northeastern Nigeria affected by the Boko Haram conflict continue to rely on humanitarian aid for food access and remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) particularly in Borno State and incidentally Yobe State. In adjacent areas that remain inaccessible to humanitarian actors, the food security situation could be similar or worse.