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Food and nutrition security, March-May 2017 and June-August 2017

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The Sahel and West Africa have, once again, recorded an increase in agricultural output. Cereal production in 2016‑17 reached 67.2 million tonnes, an increase of nearly 17% compared to the five-year average. With the exception of sesame (865 000 tonnes), the production of other crops is also on the rise: tubers (166.7 million tonnes), peanut (8.3 million tonnes), cowpea (7.4 million tonnes), soybeans (1.5 million tonnes). However, these positive results should not lead decision makers to neglect the region’s persistent food and nutrition difficulties, especially in conflict zones like the Lake Chad basin. The Cadre harmonisé analysis reveals that approximately 9.6 million people are currently facing a crisis situation (March-May), including 1.4 million people in phase 4 (emergency). By June-August, if appropriate measures are not taken, this figure could reach 13.8 million, of which 1.6 million people might find themselves in an emergency situation. The number of severely malnourished children is likely to cross the 3.5 million mark by the end of 2017. The food and nutrition situation remains particularly critical in Nigeria, which continues to host nearly 1.7 million internally displaced persons. Some 7 million Nigerians are currently in a crisis situation, including 44 000 people in phase 5 (famine), mostly in Borno State. The situation is likely to get worse during the next lean season. However, humanitarian interventions are beginning to pay off: the estimated number of people requiring urgent assistance has been reduced by 800 000.

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