Food prices have continued to rise significantly across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states. In Borno and Yobe states, prices of key staples saw a seasonal spike due to decreased availability of market stocks since July, ascribed to the lean season, underlying high inflation and the Eid celebration in late July. For instance, the prices of local rice, red beans and maize have continued to increase over three months in most markets of Borno and Yobe, ranging from 13 per cent to 85 per cent increase in various markets (according to the WFP July 2020 Market Monitoring report for Borno and Yobe). The REACH bi-weekly monitoring also indicated that fuel vendors reported a 16 per cent increase in petrol prices. The WFP Monthly Market Monitoring report for Borno and Yobe states indicated that at the height of the lean season (between May and August), the prices of most staple food commodities are generally expected to remain well above average, due to reduced market supplies and increased demand owing to continued depletion of food stocks at the household level.
Partners will continue monitoring food prices to ascertain the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) in the respective locations of operation and compare them against the transfer values.
With the June 2020 Cadre Harmonise (CH) update indicating an increase in number of people in need from 3.7 to 4.3 million as a result of COVID-19 pandemic and related effects, partners started the scale-up to meet the needs of additional food insecure people. The Food Security Sector continued to advocate in order to fill these gaps.
In July, FSS Sector partners sustained the delivery of life-saving and critical rainy season activities including food distributions and provision of livelihood support, despite the adjustments, including reduction of staff footprints and additional bureaucratic procedures as part of COVID-19 risk mitigation measures.
In July, slightly over 3.1 million people received food security assistance. Of these, 45 per cent received emergency food assistance and the remainder reached with agricultural and livelihoods support.
The Food Security Sector together with WASH, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and Protection sectors continued with joint approach on messaging, hygiene kit delivery, physical distancing measures and protection-related monitoring and referral activities.
Two partners out of four applicants for the Nigeria Humanitarian Fund (NHF) 2020 First Standard Allocation round were selected to provide wet feeding programs to refugee-returnees from Cameroon, Chad and Niger at quarantine and isolation centres in Borno State. The geographic locations targeted included Bama, Banki, and Pulka, Gamboru-Ngala and Damasak in Borno State which have been the main reception points for refugee-returnees. This was done with the support of the Strategic Review Committee (SRC) of the Food Security Sector. The Sector partners started planning for the establishment of a taskforce on inaccessible locations assessments for the October 2020 CH. This involved the first planning meeting with other key actors. Partners continued with the livestock support programmes reaching 460 registered youths who received cattle in Jere (260) and Mafa (200) LGAs of Borno.
Restrictions on transporting and delivering fertilizer are reducing crop productivity, especially in Borno State. Delayed food dispatches to field locations due to poor road conditions during the rainy season are another major challenge for Sector partners, while communal asset-creation activities have been limited by COVID-19 restrictions. Reduction or restrictions on humanitarian flights to some deep field locations have also reduced activities.