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Nigeria hosts regional partners at the 32nd Food Crisis Prevention Network annual meeting

  |   SUN Country Network

From 12-14 December 2016, the Federal Republic of Nigeria hosted the 32nd Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA) annual meeting. The event, under the patronage of the Commissions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), brought together representatives of Sahel and West African governments in addition to civil society and private sector organisations and technical and financial partners. Around 250 participants, including six West African ministers, participated in the event.

The outcome document Communiqué on the food and nutrition situation of the RPCA urges action from each stakeholder to improve the situation in the region. The nutritional situation is of particular concern in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Chad and north-eastern Nigeria. It addresses actors with clear recommendations for Sahel and West Africa states, the Comité permanent Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Sécheresse (CILSS), ECOWAS and UEMOA and partners.

The very genome of the Sahel and West Africa – its history and the way in which its societies and economies are organised – involves food production and a range of activities conducted by a host of different actors involved in the production of grain, tubers, fruits and vegetables; livestock of all kinds; maritime and inland fisheries; wholesale and retail pick-up services on every street corner; shipping; industrial and artisanal food processing; and so on. To ignore this food DNA, especially when we are concerned about stability and migration, would be a grave error.”

François-Xavier de Donnea, President of the Sahel and West Africa Club, during his opening statement.

The persistence of the security crisis is the root cause of an estimated 2.1 million individuals internally displaced in north-eastern Nigeria. This situation has also given rise to acute food and nutrition insecurity, most notably in the states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe, where approximately 4.6 million people are estimated to be severely food insecure and 55 000 are in a famine situation. The 32nd meeting was the first time that the RPCA meeting took place in Nigeria and therefore, providing a timely opportunity for the Network to highlight the implementation of the Cadre harmonisé (CH) in Nigeria as one of its key achievements.

The CH is a regional framework aimed to prevent food crisis by quickly identifying affected populations and proffering appropriate measures to improve their food and nutrition security. There are now 16 out of 36 Nigerian states, almost half of the country, that use this tool to analyse and identify areas and populations at risk of food and nutrition insecurity.

Read: Agenda (EN & FR) | Summary of conclusions (EN)

Summary of results from the Cadre harmonisé analysed October – December 2016.

Three of the sixteen states (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe) have been severely affected by insurgency. Four states (Gombe, Kaduna, Plateau and Taraba) also have some population impacted by communal conflict; while the remaining nine states have been affected by adverse climatic conditions.

The food consumption status across the sixteen states indicates stressed situation in Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, and Taraba; crisis situation in Kaduna, Kebbi and Yobe; and an emergency situation in Borno. In the other states, food consumption status reflects a minimal situation.

Livelihoods in Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina and Zamfara are stressed, while livelihoods in Adamawa, Niger, Plateau, Taraba and Yobe are in the crisis phase. Households in these affected states have adopted severe coping strategies. Despite the humanitarian assistance in Borno state, livelihoods remain in an emergency phase.

The prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) is within the crisis/emergency threshold in Borno, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara states; and within stressed threshold in Benue, Niger, Plateau and Taraba states.

Staple food and cash crops production is below average in Borno, Plateau and Yobe states. Major shocks in the states include conflict, flood, dry spells and pests. Food availability will increase during October to December as the harvest peaks and is expected to decline towards the lean season. Pastoral resources such as pasture and water for livestock will be available for a limited period.

The prices of staple food crops across the states are extremely high due to inflationary pressure in the economy. Food prices are expected to continue increasing in coming months. Households are facing challenges in accessing staple food due to their reduced purchasing power.

The analysis indicated that most households in the North West and North Central zones have food stocks that may last only 4 – 5 months, while food stocks in the North East are very limited.

The CH analysis also identified that over 100,000 and 5,000 populations in Borno and Yobe states respectively may experience famine (CH Phase 5) in June – August 2017, even though no area was classified at that level. Thus, the food security situation of populations in Borno and Yobe states will deteriorate if urgent interventions are not put in place to alleviate the situation.

The press release from the first day of the meeting urged action from ECOWAS and the international community to support the coordination of humanitarian measures and to administer technical and financial support in a co-ordinated manner to ensure a more effective, longer term and sustainable impact on the most vulnerable populations of Nigeria.

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