Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA) in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States of Nigeria (April 2019) - WFP

Post date Wednesday, 4 September, 2019 - 20:58
Document Type Assessment Report
Content Themes Agriculture, Livestock, Livelihoods, Fisheries, Food Assistance, Food Security
Sources WFP

The World Food Programme (WFP), government counterparts – National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the National Programme for Food Security (NPFS) under the Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) of the Federal Ministry for Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) and National Population Commission (NPoPC), and other Food Security Sector partners conducted the fifth round of the EFSA between the 25th of March and the 21st of April,2019, to update the food security situation in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) States, particularly given the recent deterioration in the security situation.

The objectives of the survey was to evaluate the food security situation of host communities and IDPs, describe the profile, location and characteristics of food insecure households as well as the underlying causes of food insecurity and provide recommendations for the targeting of households most in need of assistance. The EFSA covered IDP camps in nine LGAs of Borno State (Bama, Damboa, Dikwa, Jere, Konduga, Ngala, Maiduguri, Monguno and Gwoza) in order to have representative findings for displaced households living in camps. Findings of the assessment as well provided information for the June 2019 Cadre Harmoniśe by the Government of Nigeria (GoN) and partners in BAY States.

Key findings from this assessment include:

What proportion of households are food insecure?

Overall, 28.9 percent of households across BAY States were food insecure and 3.1 percent of these households were severely food insecure. This represents an increase of 2.4 percent in the prevalence of food insecurity compared to February 2018. 36.4 percent of IDP camp residents of Borno State were food insecure, 3.4 percent of which were experiencing severe food insecurity.

Where do food insecure households live?

A greater proportion of food insecure households were in Borno State (41.8 percent) as compared to Yobe (25.6 percent) and Adamawa (13.8 percent) States. Both global and severe food insecurity was most pervasive in Northern and central parts of Borno State, specifically Kaga (84.1 percent), Monguno (76.5 percent), Gubio (73.0 percent), Gwoza (70.2 percent), Magumeri (62.0 percent), Nganzai (56.8 percent) and Maiduguri (52.5 percent); Yunusari (55.0 percent) in Yobe State; and Guyuk (37.3 percent), Yola South (27.6 percent), Gombi (25.5 percent), Demsa (25.4 percent), Madagali (21.0 percent), Michika (19.5 percent) and Numan (18.9 percent) in Adamawa State.

Who are the food insecure households?

Displaced households in camps (36.4 percent), informal settlement (53.0 percent), and host communities (45.0 percent) had higher prevalence of food insecure than permanent residents (23.0 percent). Moreover, pronouced levels of food insecurity was found in IDP camps in Bama (73.8 percent), Konduga (62.3 percent), Monguno (37.0 percent) and Maiduguri (33.1 percent);
Host communities in Borno State, currently hosting a large number of IDPs were found to have higher proportion of food insecure households compared to IDP camps residents in the same locations, most notably host community households in Monguno (76.5 percent), Maiduguri (52.5 percent), Ngala (31.0 percent), Damboa (33.3 percent) and Gwoza (70.2 percent) LGAs;

Households that had hosted IDPs within six months that preceded the survey were found to be more food insecure (43.5 percent) compared to counterparts that have not (26.9 percent). Moreover, the severity of food insecurity was more pronounced among households that still hosted IDPs at the time of the survey (52.7 percent) compared to households that previously hosted IDPs (38.0 percent), which clearly shows a positive correlation between dependency from IDPs and incidence of food insecurity;

Households with uneducated heads with no previous education (cannot read and write in any language) were found to have a higher rate of food insecurity (37.0 percent) compared to counterparts with an educated head (24.0 percent). Furthermore, among households with an educated head that can read and write, food insecurity was highest for household head that dropped out after primary school (24.1 percent) or that can read only in Arabic (26.4 percent) compared to those that achieved secondary school and above (16.2 percent);

Female headed households were disproportionately affected by food insecurity (36.9 percent) compared to male headed counterparts (24.9 percent). Similarly, there were more severely food insecure female headed households (6.9 percent) compared to their male headed counterparts (2.1 percent), which is unsurprising since women living in the northeast have limited livelihood opportunities compared to men. Majority of female headed households are either widowed (63.7 percent) or separated/divorced (12.0 percent);

Households that their primary means of livelihoods were begging (66.0 percent), unskilled wage labor (49.0 percent), skilled wage labor (38.0 percent), petty trade (31.0 percent) and daily common labor (29.0 percent) were more food insecure compared to counterparts engaged in salaried work (15.0 percent), livestock business (16.0 percent) and agriculture (23.0 percent);

Households without access to farmland were more food insecure (36.0 percent) compared to those with access (22.0 percent). Moreover, among households with access to farmland, a correlation exists between food security and the expanse of land cultivated. Households that cultivated more hectares of land were found to be more food secure;

Poor households with few assets tend to be more food insecure than better off household. In the face of shock and threats, households with lower levels of income and fewer assets are more likely to deploy extreme coping strategies to meet their basic food needs. The persistent use of such coping strategies might have severe, and oftentimes, irreversible impacts on food insecurity within the affected households.

Why are they food insecure?

Insecurity and communal conflict between farmers and herders: Insecurity continues to restrict livelihood activities including functionality of markets and optimal recovery of economic activities, which underscores pronounced levels and in some cases, deterioration of food insecurity in the most affected areas. The already fragile security situation in the northeast is further execrated by communal conflicts between farmers and pastoralists, particularly in some areas of Adamawa State, most notably Numan, Demsa and Lamurde, where a correlation was seen between high incidence of these communal conflicts and food security situation in such areas.

Displacement of population from their home of origin: Displacement, loss of a family member or key bread winners have a negative impact on food security at the household level. Displaced population are more vulnerable to food insecurity as it results in the loss of livelihood as well as social and natural assets. IDPs are forced to rely on severe coping mechanism in order to ensure that their basic food needs are met. Displacement primarily limits access to basic livelihood opportunities such as land and skilled employment and this is often compounded by lack of skills and low level of literacy, which limits the capacity of IDPs to connect with local opportunities within areas of new habitation, consequently forcing them to engage in jobs that require less level of skills such as land clearing and manual labor.


Dependency of IDPs on household communities: continues to put pressure on limited and oftentimes, overstretched resources in such communities as seen in the cases of Monguno, Maiduguri, Ngala, Damboa and Gwoza where host community households were found to be more food insecure compared to IDP households in camps. This can be further explained by the targeted systematic humanitarian assistance that IDP households in camps receive from government and partners, the scale of which is often more significant compared to host community counterparts.

Disability within households: The disability of one or more members of the household and the presence of chronically ill members had an impact on food security with households with a disabled or chronically ill members found to have a higher rate of food insecurity compared to those without. The presence of members with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments would potentially hamper economic productivity of such households, which explains the higher prevalence food insecurity.

Lack of access to farmland: Households that do not have access to land to undertake agriculture land are more food insecure compared to those with access, which implies that accessibility to land for farming remains a key determinant of food insecurity in the northeast. Moreover, cultivation of larger expanse of farmland among agricultural practicing households was found to forestall food a correlation exists between food security and the size of land cultivated and households that cultivate more hectares of land are found to be more food secure.

Shocks: Food insecurity was higher among households that had experienced a shock (28 percent) compared to those that had not experienced any shock (23 percent). Severe and moderate food insecurity is higher among households that reported insecurity (36 percent), temporary displacement (36 percent), high food price (33 percent) and loss of employment/ reduced income (31 percent). In the face of these shocks, households often adopt a range of different coping strategies to survive, which deepens vulnerability to food insecurity if unabated.

Nonetheless, the ongoing humanitarian assistance by the Government of Nigeria (GoN) and the international community continues to forestall further deterioration of the food security situation and protect livelihoods and contribute to early recovery and resilience efforts in the northeast. The Nigerian Government, UN Agencies, and other key humanitarian actors supported 1.5 million out of the 2.7 million conflict affected people, targeted for food, agriculture and livelihoods support in March 2019.


What can be done to assist food insecure households?

Considering the deterioration in the food security situation between April 2019 and February 2018 and pronounced levels of food insecurity observed in some host communities of Borno State, the situation of displaced households, returnees and host communities remain critical and the following recommendations are proposed:

There is a need for concerted efforts by government and food security sector partners to consult closely and provide tailored contextualized response (food or livelihood support as appropriate) to the needs of the most vulnerable population in hotspot areas with pronouced levels of food insecurity, giving priority to the IDPs, returnees and the most vulnerable members of host communities. This is key to prevent further deterioration of already fragile food security situation during the forthcoming lean season;

In places where feasible, food assistance has to be significantly complemented by the implementation of sustainable livelihoods assistance (farming and non-farming) to reduce the impact of acute food insecurity, particularly within IDP camps in places like Konduga, Maiduguri and Damboa, where IDP camp residents signified their interest to receive livelihood support;

The government and partners should rigorously pursue the provision of non-farming oriented livelihood support to conflict affected households without access to farmland to gradually stimulate empowerment and economic recovery of such households, given the protracted nature of the ongoing conflict in the northeast;

Specific vulnerable groups such as female-headed households, displaced households, most vulnerable host community households, poorest households, those with limited livelihood opportunities and land access and households involved in casual labor, should be targeted and prioritized for assistance;

In LGAs that have high level of food insecurity, the government and food security sector partners should provide nutrition support through supplementary and therapeutic feeding centers to reduce the risk of malnutrition among children age 6 to 23 months;

Humanitarian and development actors also need to continue advocacy to the GoN for improved security and greater humanitarian access to LGAs that are currently fully or partly accessible to the humanitarian community in order to enhance access to farmland for cultivation and also provide much needed assistance to affected households that are currently inaccessible, particularly due to the fragile nutrition and food security situation in these areas; and

Finally, there is need for continued onsite and remote monitoring of the food and nutrition situation, including hard-to reach areas of the northeast, leveraging traditional in-person interviews by Third Party Monitors and innovative technology such as satellite imagery and remote sensing, in order to gain ongoing insights into the nutrition and food security situation to facilitate informed and agile response by stakeholders.