Food insecurity, driven by conflict, is leading to population displacements and limiting access to food and livelihood opportunities, and remains the highest driver of need. The Cadre Harmonise analysis in October 2019 indicates that 2.9 million people across the BAY states are food insecure (CH/IPC Phase 3 to 5) - a 72 per cent increase from October to December 2018 post-harvest period findings. Besides, around 3.8 million people are projected to be food insecure in the upcoming lean season (June to August 2020) and considered to be facing states of crisis or emergency (CH Phase 3 or 4).
In the months of January and February, around 1.7 million people received food security assistance. Of these, 76 percent received food assistance and the remainder agriculture and livelihood assistance.
In February, partners concluded data collection for the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) with a total of 6,340 households across 63 Local Government Areas in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, despite security challenges, most especially in hard-to-reach areas of Borno and Yobe states. Abadam, Marte, Kukawa and Guzamala LGAs in Borno State remain inaccessible to the humanitarian community and were not covered in this assessment. Findings from the assessment will inform the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis in March. The CH is a government-led framework, supported by various partners to guide food security programming. According to the October 2019 Cadre Harmonise (CH) Analysis, 2.9 million people are currently food insecure (CH/IPC Phase 3 to 5) across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states. These numbers are expected to increase to 3.8 million in the next lean season (June to August 2020) in the absence of sustained humanitarian assistance.
The Food Security Sector (FSS) Harmonization Task Force met in January to discuss harmonizing approaches among food assistance partners. Key recommendations include: the household minimum/maximum size for ‘per capita approach’; average household size per location for ‘per household approach’; and composition of food assistance package with cooking fuel needs included in the transfer value.
Partners continued with dry season intervention activities, targeting over 35,500 households who have access to land and water for irrigation. The inputs distributed to farmers in February included seeds of nutritious vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, and peppers), cereal crops such as rice, and wet-blended NPK fertilizer, whose clearance was secured by the military in December 2019. They will also receive a training on Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) by Community-Based Extension Agents. Partners will conduct post distribution monitoring and share the results.
In January, a total of 20 water points across the BAY states were identified and assessed for rehabilitation for multi-purpose use, including domestic and agricultural activities (livestock and irrigation).
In February, the Food Security Sector (FSS) organized a training on CH Analysis Manual 2.0 for partners from 27 February to 1 March to build capacities in the application of Cadre Harmonize (CH) food security and nutrition analysis framework and strengthen participation of partners in the analysis process at both state and national levels.
The FSS organized a one-day information management and reporting training with 30 partners on the use of the various basic information management, reporting and resource tools on 30 January. Due to the high number of applicants, a second round of the one-day training was carried out on February 27, targeting 15 partners. The aim of the training is to better support partners in collecting data and reporting, so that we can provide better analysis and relevant information management products.
In February, partners distributed fuel-efficient cook stoves to 3,400 vulnerable households across 12 IDP camps in Dikwa LGA, Borno State. Partners will conduct post distribution monitoring in the subsequent months to assess the level of satisfaction and utilization of the new technology.
Recent interactions with the military created uncertainties around the use of cash and voucher assistance (CVA) for humanitarian assistance. Restrictions on humanitarian cargo movements continue to affect operations in the north-east. Therefore, the FSS continues to sensitize partners to ensure each organization carries out due diligence and screening of vendors contracted to transport goods for CVA.
In preparation for the March 2020 Cadre Harmonize, the Sector’s Inaccessible/Hard-to-Reach Area Taskforce has conducted data collection targeting new arrivals from inaccessible areas arriving in reception centers or camps in 12 selected field locations in February. This analysis will support proactive planning, resource mobilization and strategic prepositioning of food stocks and advocacy for humanitarian access, to promptly respond to evolving needs.
The security situation, especially along the main supply routes and remote countryside areas, is posing major challenges to the implementation of ongoing deep field activities and has also led to limited or total inaccessibility of humanitarian assistance to some Local Government Areas in the north-east. The security situation has also continued to reduce access to farmland during the dry season. The Sector also started implementing dry season activities later than planned due to delayed certification of inputs meant to be distributed to farmers.
Joint advocacy efforts continue to call on the Government to ensure that farmers and pastoralists have safe and secure access to enough land and that people who return are provided with satisfactory conditions of safety, dignity and security, as outlined in the endorsed Borno Returns Strategy and international laws.
The Sector has continued to coordinate among its partners ahead of the 2020 rainy season farming campaign to ensure complementarity among different actors from the planning stage.