Cameroon flag

Remotely Monitored Country
Remote Monitoring Report

Livelihoods continue to deteriorate in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon

September 2018

September 2018

October 2018 - January 2019

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • The anticipated above-average harvest in the Far North Region will likely favor normal staple food consumption by poor households and Internally Displaced People (IDPs). However, the precarious security situation continues to negatively effecting livelihoods leading to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes from October 2018 to January 2019.

  • In the Northwest and Southwest Regions, the security situation continues to deteriorate, following the transformation of secessionist movement into an armed movement, has negatively affected agricultural production and the foundation of the economy. Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes are currently affecting poor households and displaced persons and could reach Crisis (IPC Phase 3) by February 2019 and sustain through September 2019.

  • Insecurity is the main driver negatively affecting household livelihoods in a country also home to Nigerian and Central African refugees. While the reduction in incursions from Boko Haram is encouraging the return of displaced persons in Far North Region, however in comparison in the English-speaking Regions, violent acts are increasing as the elections approach.

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • Cameroon is experiencing the consequences of three conflicts, two of which are external. Due to conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) there are approximately 249,370 Central African refugees living mainly in the Adamaoua and East Regions. There are approximately 87,804 Nigerian refugees and IDPs fleeing Boko Haram violence living primarily in the Far North and North Regions.
  • The influx of people fleeing the conflict in CAR and the violence from Boko Haram violence is stabilizing and even decreasing. However, in English-speaking Regions, the security situation has been deteriorating since 2016 and increasing in intensity as the electoral period is set to begin. The secessionist movements are transforming into armed conflict, preventing socio-economic activities from developing.

Far North

  • The security situation remains precarious as the region faces violence by Boko Haram, including kidnappings and livestock theft. There are 359,222 displaced persons in the region, including 227,581 (IDPs), 39,403 refugees outside camps and 92,238 returning refugees (IOM, DTM, June 2018).
  • After a longer than normal lean season associated with an atypical increase in staple food price increases, food prices are beginning to stabilize with the start of the harvest and continued food assistance.
  • The areas bordering Nigeria will remain vulnerable to violence from Boko Haram likely hindering the return of displaced persons and the resumption of normal economic activities.

 

  • The agricultural production projections are higher than last year and similar to average due to good spatial and temporal distribution of above-average rainfall compared to the last ten years.

Northwest and Southwest

  • The security situation is deteriorating with an estimated over 246,000 displaced persons in the Southwest Region only (OCHA, August 2018) and over 25,000 refugees in Nigeria (UNHCR, August 2018).
  • Household livelihoods are deteriorating due to abandoning fields leading to about a 30 percent decrease in major cash crops prices. Conflict is also leading to the destruction of socio-economic infrastructure and the closure or idle operation of businesses.
  • According to ACAPS, the likely intensification of clashes between secessionists and defense and security forces, with the proliferation of violence against the public, political and administrative figures during the electoral period, will lead to an increase in the number of displaced persons.

PROJECTED OUTLOOK THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2019

Projected outlook through January 2019

In the Far North region, the rainy season began earlier than normal with slightly above-average cumulative rainfall to date. The first harvests (peanuts and maize) are available in markets since the end of August, which has helped to alleviate households food consumption gaps. The harvest will become widely available in October and is expected to be above the 5-year regional average. The good level of water points and continuous humidity will likely facilitate an average dry season sorghum harvest. Fishing activities will likely proceed as usual, despite restrictions due to insecurity affecting the Logone river, Lake Chad and the artificial Lake Maga.

The positive seasonal progress favors the destocking by traders due to the decrease in prices associated with the harvest. In addition, the Region benefits from an inflow of maize from the neighboring North Region and across its border with Nigeria via the Bourha and Mogodé corridors. As a result, staple cereal prices declined compared to last year, averaging 14 percent and 30 percent for sorghum and maize, respectively. However, the price of sorghum is 13 percent higher than the five-year average, while the price of maize (dominant in markets) is 9 percent lower than the five-year average. Livestock trade remains negatively affected by the decline in trade flows with Nigeria. The redirection of trade flows towards the southern regions (Douala and Yaoundé) is insufficient to meet the market supply, resulting in below average prices.

Despite the above-average production projections for cowpeas and peanuts, market disturbances and low prices for producers will likely not favor average household incomes. Overall, food consumption in poor host households and IDPs will continue as normal through October 2018. The assistance through September, providing a full food ration and cash distribution by WFP and ICRC, reaches 41 percent of the population (refugees, IDPs and hosts). Cash support to households and social safety net programs, including the distribution of small ruminants by FAO and production support, contributes to the recovery of households, particularly displaced persons.  In addition, the reduction of violence from Boko Haram and the redeployment of defense and security forces encourages displaced persons to return to their homes. According to IOM data, the number of returned refugees in April was 83,141, an increase of 40%. Household food consumptions is likely returning to normal due to the arrival of the first harvests and food assistance, providing an average of two meals a day. Overall, poor households experience Stressed levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) with food assistance.

In the Northwest and Southwest English-speaking Regions, where more than 70 percent of the population depend on agriculture, the provision of inputs and production supervision has declined since the last agricultural season. The deterioration of the security situation is forcing producers to abandon their fields or ignore the timing of planting and phytosanitary treatments. As a result, production is declining and market access is becoming more difficult due to the increase in staple food prices, such as maize and beans. In the Boyo and Momo Departments, which are the most affected areas by displacement, saw a price increase on average 30 percent in July compared to the same period last year.

In addition to the disruption of agricultural activities, the coffee and cocoa value chains, which provide income and employment opportunities, are suffering due to the difficulties in the purchase and sale of crops by agricultural cooperatives. Faced with the decrease in coffee and cocoa prices, many producers are turning to Nigerian buyers who offer higher prices. It is becoming more difficult for large farms to find laborers, who usually come from Nigeria, due to safety concerns. The shutdown or reduced functioning within agro-industries and the destruction of warehouses has also led to the loss of jobs.

In summary, the decline in purchasing power due to reduced production and income, combined with the increase in staple food prices has negatively impacted food access for all households, and particularly IDPs. The results of the Food Security Management System (FSMS) survey conducted by WFP and government services indicated in July, 22 percent in the Northwest and 21 percent of households in the Southwest were adopting stressed coping strategies to support their livelihoods. Crisis coping strategies were reported in 16 percent households in the Northwest Region and 22 percent in the Southwest Region. The escalation of violence by secessionist armed groups during the election period could lead to further displacement and a degradation of household livelihoods. Due to the conflict, access to English-speaking areas is still limited. Until January 2019, the reduction in the harvest will likely lead to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes.

Projected outlook for September 2019

In the Far North, the anticipated above-average harvest will allow households to live off food stocks until the usual lean season in July.  In addition, the positive projections for the dry season harvest and fishing season will help households recover. The 2019 price projections for the Maroua market largely follow the usual downward trend at harvest time and gradually increase from April to the peak of the lean season in August. However, the security situation remains precarious due to frequent Boko Haram incursions and cattle theft, which are more frequent in the Mayo Danay Department. This is a barrier to the regeneration of livestock and trade in the region. The Far North is likely to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes until September 2019.

In English-speaking areas, the proliferation of violence before the election period may intensify during and after the elections and lead to an increase in displacement. According to ACAPS (September, 2018), between the second and third quarters of 2018 the number of IDPs in the Southwest Region could reach 246,000 and a similar number is expected in the Northwest region.  Due to declining stocks and limited purchasing capacity on the markets, FEWS NET anticipates the next pastoral lean season in these areas, usually March to April, could extend from February to May. During the agricultural lean season and until September, stock depletion and reduced purchasing power will expose households to Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes.

About Remote Monitoring

In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on some 34 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

USAID logoUSGS logoUSDA logo
NASA logoNOAA logoKimetrica logoChemonics logo