Despite the harvest in September, the food security Emergency is expected to persist in the Northeast
• High levels of conflict across the Northeast is driving limited engagement in agricultural activities, declines in humanitarian access, and displacement, with many populations being displaced multiple times. This, coupled with the significantly above-average staple food prices, constrains household purchasing power and food access. As a result, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are widespread across much of the Northeast. The harvest is expected to somewhat improve outcomes in areas of the region for a short period of time; however,
Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are expected to persist throughout the scenario period in hard-toreach areas.
• A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists in hard-toreach areas of the Northeast. While it is not FEWS NET's most likely scenario, Famine could occur in a worst-case scenario if there is a dramatic uptick or shift in conflict that limits access to typical food and income sources and humanitarian assistance for a prolonged period. As humanitarian access has declined in recent months with increased conflict and continued displacement, many households in hard-to-reach areas are experiencing large food consumption gaps indicative of high levels of acute malnutrition and excess mortality. As these populations face severe difficulty meeting their food needs and are only expected to engage in the ongoing agricultural season at minimal levels, the Risk of Famine persists through at least January 2022.
• Considering the available evidence, it is likely a notable population in areas of the Northwest affected by conflict are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5). These areas are of increasing concern as conflict is disrupting household engagement in typical livelihood activities and high levels of displacement. According to IOM, over 690,000 people have been displaced in the Northwest and North-Central areas of the country. Few humanitarian actors are operating in this area to provide needed assistance for those facing food consumption deficits. Additionally, due to the high levels of displacement and continued disruption in livelihood activities, it is expected that the harvest will be significantly impacted for many households, limiting typical seasonal improvements.
• The 2021 agricultural season is underway across the country. Farmers are engaged in land preparation and planting in the northern areas and weeding in central and southern areas. However, high input costs for items such as improved seeds, herbicides, and fertilizers coupled with insecurity are constraining the level of crop cultivation, which to date is below average. Households engaged in agriculture-based labor earn below-average wages due to increased competition from the oversupply of labor, constraining income earned. For market-dependent households, this is constraining access to food and non-food items.