Food Security Outlook

Areas in the southeast and northwest of the country remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3)

June 2019 to January 2020

June - September 2019

October 2019 - January 2020

IPC v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 v3.0 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 security crises continue to worsen access to food and livelihoods in the Diffa and Tillabéry regions, where poor resident households and displaced populations are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). This is expected to continue in the coming months.

  • The main agropastoral growing season is advancing gradually, thanks to favorable rainfall conditions. Seasonal forecasts predict average to above-average cumulative rainfall, which would be conducive to average agricultural and fodder production and sufficient food access in the post-harvest period from October 2019 to January 2020.

  • Although the lean season is under way in pastoral areas, the food security situation is average, thanks to the availability of pasture and water points. However, disturbances in cross-border trade linked to civil insecurity mean that livestock prices are falling. Some pastoral areas could be classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from the current period until July. However, the food situation in the area should gradually improve and food insecurity is expected to become Minimal (IPC Phase 1) once the lean season ends.

  • Food supplies in most households throughout the rest of the country remain sufficient to cover consumption demand. Agricultural households in deficit are able to access consumer products through favorable cereal purchase prices and the normal income generated by seasonal activities such as horticultural production, soil preparation and seasonal labor migration. Most areas will therefore remain in Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) until September 2019.

CONTEXTE NATIONAL

Current Situation

The security crises in the sub-regions and their effects are the most serious threats to food security and household livelihoods in Niger. Since the beginning of this year, there has been an increase in the number of security incidents, which are continuing to cause population movements. The number of internally displaced persons is estimated at over 60,000 in the Tillabéry region and over 20,000 newly displaced persons in the Diffa region. In addition, a new hotspot of community tensions emerged in the states of Zamfara and Sokoto in Nigeria, which led to 20,000 refugees being displaced in the Maradi region.

The growing season is characterized by medium to good rainfall, with the Directorate of Agricultural Statistics estimating 48 percent seed coverage, compared to 46 percent in 2018. These favorable rainfall conditions will develop in line with the seasonal climate forecasts, which indicate average to surplus seasonal cumulative rainfall in the country's main agricultural areas.

Food availability is average and water availability is good, which has enabled sufficient horticultural production, as well as good growing season outcomes, with the cereal surplus estimated at 1,792,148 tons, i.e. an apparent availability of 285 kg per person per year compared to the average of 198.76 kg.

Market supply of local food products including millet, sorghum and maize is normal and regular. Household demand has remained broadly stable in markets where cereal prices are, in most cases, stable relative to the five-year average. This trend toward stability could persist until July/August, when small increases might be observed in line with the normal seasonal trend, when the pressure of household demand is felt more strongly in the markets due to the normal depletion of household stocks. This situation facilitates poor households’ access to basic food. However, in the Diffa and Tillabéry regions, cross-border flows continue to be below average due to conflicts that limit transactions and movements of people and commercial products.

Animal fodder and water conditions are average, with good fodder production recorded last year. The availability of pasture is estimated to be at the same level as the seasonal average and food supplements purchased from markets to support livestock feeding are priced at the same level as usual. In addition, livestock prices are improving in line with the five-year average due to the resumption of export demand in Nigeria with the gradual appreciation of the Nigerian naira. However, there are deteriorations in areas where marketing channels are disrupted and where this reduction in livestock prices does not allow poor households to earn normal income or maintain food access, resulting in acute Stressed food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) in the affected agropastoral and pastoral areas.

The provisional results of the nutrition survey conducted in October 2018 estimated the national prevalence of global acute malnutrition among children aged 6–59 months at 15 percent (95 per cent confidence interval (CI): 13.6–16.6) according to the weight-for-height index expressed as a z-score of < -2 and/or edema. Regions with a prevalence above the national average are: Maradi (15.4 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 11.6–20.2), Tahoua (16.6 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 13.4–20.5) and Zinder (17.7 per cent, 95 per cent CI: 14.9–21.0). With relatively stable food insecurity and morbidity, the nutritional situation is similar to the seasonal average.

With the exception of conflict-affected areas, livelihoods are generally evolving in line with the normal seasonal trend. Seasonal livelihood activities include agricultural activities such as land and seed preparation activities, horticultural production and sales, transfer of resources, sales of agricultural and animal products and the harvesting and sale of forest products that generate average household income.

Overall, food security outcomes indicate Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1), with pockets of Stressed food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) in pastoral and agropastoral areas. However, the situation is more critical in the extreme southeast and northwest of the country, where Crisis (IPC Phase 3) persists as a result of civil insecurity, which is causing significant food deficits and a significant deterioration in livelihoods among forcibly displaced populations and poor host communities.

Assumptions

The most likely food security scenarios for June 2019 to January 2020 are based on the following underlying assumptions regarding the trends in nationwide conditions:

  • The results of climatic forecast analyses indicate a normal start to the next rainy season in 2019 and average to surplus cumulative rainfall. Good agricultural and pastoral production will ensure sufficient food availability in October 2019 – January 2020 and facilitate household food access.
  • Flooding will be recorded in July and August, with impacts on the livelihoods of certain populations in river valleys.
  • Markets will be well stocked between July and September, thanks to sufficient imports from the sub-region and market supplies from the internal flow of cereals will be higher from October 2019 until January 2020.
  • Cereal imports from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria will continue and this will help maintain a sufficient supply of cereals in almost all parts of the country. Cereal supplies will be sufficient on the markets but will be disrupted by insecurity in Burkina Faso, Mali and Nigeria, especially in the regions of Diffa, Tillabéry and Tahoua.
  • Demand for cereal products will increase by the seasonal average throughout June, July, August and September before stabilizing and even decreasing as normal in October, November, December and January.
  • Overall, cereal prices in the markets will be lower than those in 2018/19 and similar to the five-year average. However, in some areas, including those affected by armed conflict, higher-than-average prices will be observed throughout the scenario period.
  • Food conditions will remain difficult to sustain, with the lean season occurring in pastoralist areas until July, but improvements will be seen from August onwards and much more so from September to January. The animal supply will follow the normal trend, following a favorable food situation. Demand for animals will be affected by the unfavorable situation created by armed and intercommunity conflicts, which disrupt flows and limit the presence and purchases of exporting traders, and animal and animal product prices will remain favorable throughout the scenario period.
  • Household income levels will be average, built on income from winter seasonal agricultural labor and favorable animal sales for the Eid al-Adha holiday in August/September and at the end of the year in December/January.
  • The nutritional situation will evolve more or less in line with the seasonal average, with periodic deteriorations related to diseases such as malaria in June/July–September and the difficult food situation in June/July in pastoral areas and in June/September in agricultural and agropastoral areas.
  • The deterioration of the security situation in the country, particularly in the Diffa, Tillabéry and Tahoua regions, will continue, with an increase in the number of internally displaced persons and in humanitarian assistance needs.
  • Food and humanitarian assistance programs will be funded, but needs will not be fully met due to reduced funding and limited access to some areas and to displaced populations.
Most Likely Food Security Outcomes

Food security outcomes indicate overall Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) with some pastoral areas Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in July 2019, which will continue into August and September in some agricultural and agropastoral areas, before improving to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) from October 2019 and staying at this level until January 2020.

In the Tillabéry region, acute Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) will persist due to the loss of livelihoods and reduced food consumption in a context where demand for humanitarian food assistance is growing as a result of the increasing number of internally displaced persons and the increasingly difficult access to humanitarian assistance in some areas.

In the Diffa region, overall food insecurity will remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2!) due to the food assistance that will be provided, which will cover the needs of people in accessible areas as far as possible.

Events that Might Change the Outlook

Possible events over the next eight months that could change the most-likely scenario.

Area Event Impact on food security outcomes
National Lower-than-average rainfall during the rainy season Fewer labor opportunities, decreased income from crop sales, slow regeneration of pastoralist resource availability

 

 

For more information on the outlook for specific areas of concern, please click the download button at the top of the page for the full report.

About Scenario Development

To project food security outcomes, FEWS NET develops a set of assumptions about likely events, their effects, and the probable responses of various actors. FEWS NET analyzes these assumptions in the context of current conditions and local livelihoods to arrive at a most likely scenario for the coming eight months. Learn more 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 28 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, and USGS, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica. Read more about our work.

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