Severe food insecurity has doubled in the ECOWAS area
About 8.5 million people were estimated to be in immediate need of assistance (phases 3-5) during October‑December 2019 in the 14 countries analysed in the ECOWAS area (excluding Liberia*), including 4 million in Nigeria, 1.4 million in Niger and 1.2 million in Burkina Faso. This is more than twice as many severely food insecure people compared to the same period in 2018. This situation is mainly due to civil insecurity. By June-August 2020, 12.6 million people are projected to be in a crisis situation or worse, including 1 million in an emergency situation (phase 4). Vulnerable populations are concentrated in the conflict‑affected areas in north-eastern Nigeria (Adamawa, Borno and Yobe: 2.7 million) as well as in the Liptako‑Gourma region (Sahel, Central‑North and East in Burkina Faso; Mopti in Mali and Tillabery in Niger: 1 million people). Some areas in Burkina Faso and Nigeria are still not accessible to humanitarian actors, and the situation of people living in these areas remains unknown. Moreover, people in refugee camps or internally displaced people (IDPs) are severely food insecure. Some 262 000 people, or a third of people living in nine IDP camps, are facing a “Crisis” situation or worse (phases 3-5). Nearly 1.9 million people continue to be internally displaced in Nigeria. Civil insecurity has led to a sharp increase in the number of displaced persons, particularly in northern Burkina Faso (480 000 people), northwestern Nigeria (310 000 people) and Niger (180 000 people). The majority are hosted in local communities, placing increasing pressure on food resources and local livelihoods in the short and long term.Trade flows are severely disrupted in these areas. Nigeria’s closure of its land borders with Benin and Niger has also disrupted cross border trade since late August 2019.