Severe food insecurity has tripled in the UEMOA area
About 3.8 million people were estimated to be in immediate need of assistance (phases 3-5) during October‑December 2019 in the eight UEMOA member countries, including 1.4 million in Niger, 1.2 million in Burkina Faso and 650 000 people in Mali. A large share of the population of Guinea‑Bissau is also food insecure (10.3% or 131 000 people). The number of people suffering from severe food insecurity has nearly tripled within the UEMOA area, compared to the same period in 2018. This situation is mainly due to civil insecurity. By June-August 2020, 5.7 million people are projected to be in a crisis situation or worse, including 347 000 people in an emergency situation (phase 4). Vulnerable populations are concentrated in conflict‑affected areas in the Liptako‑Gourma region (Sahel, Central North and East in Burkina Faso; Mopti in Mali and Tillabery in Niger) as well as in the border area between Niger (Diffa and Zinder) and Nigeria. The border area between Mali (Kayes) and Mauritania will also be in a crisis situation, mainly due to a significant biomass deficit, which is likely to lead to early transhumance and a high concentration of livestock in certain areas. Civil insecurity has led to a sharp increase in the number of internally displaced people (IDPs), particularly in northern Burkina Faso (480 000 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. Despite humanitarian assistance, the food and nutrition situation of IDPs and refugees remains a major concern. Some 17 000 people among 70 000 Malian refugees across five camps in Niger are in need of increased emergency assistance. Moreover, some areas in Burkina Faso are still not accessible to humanitarian actors, and the situation of people living in these areas remains unknown.