According to the latest FEWS.net Food Security Outlook Reports, West Africa could face sharp increases in food insecurity in the coming months, specifically in areas surrounding Lake Chad. Boko Haram-related conflicts continue to disrupt markets in the region, impacting many households’ income-generating potential.
In several West African countries (Mauritania, Senegal, and Mali), the lean season began earlier than usual in some areas. As a result, higher levels of food insecurity are expected until July in pastoral areas and until September-October in agro-pastoral areas. Similarly, an economic slowdown in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone is limiting food access for poor households. Other parts of the region, however, are experiencing normal income levels and well-functioning markets; these areas are expected to see minimal food insecurity through September.
Meanwhile, in East Africa, conflict and below average rainfall is impacting many poor households’ access to food. Conflict-affected areas, such as South Sudan, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and parts of northern Kenya, are seeing more and more displaced households. These households have lost many of their productive assets and are facing limited access to labor, markets, and humanitarian access. Below average crop and livestock production throughout 2014 also continues to impact poor households in northeastern and southern Ethiopia, regions of Somalia, and northeastern Kenya. These areas are expected to see high levels of food insecurity through September.