Niger Crisis Could Exert Pressure on Nigeria’s Food Market, Warns World Bank

by Ella

The recent coup d’état in Niger has raised concerns about its potential impact on food security in Nigeria and other West African nations, according to the World Bank. The bank’s September ‘Food Security Update’ highlighted that the coup in Niger could place an additional seven million people at risk of severe food insecurity in the region. This threat looms amid already surging commodity and staple food prices, along with severe food insecurity affecting 3.3 million people during the lean season.

Economic and financial sanctions imposed on Niger by the Economic Community of West African States and the West African Economic and Monetary Union have resulted in a significant increase in food prices. In August, food prices in Niger surged by up to 21%, limiting the ability of impoverished households to access food and meet their dietary needs.


The World Bank emphasized that, given the government’s limited financial capacity to implement its food assistance program, continued support from the World Food Programme is essential. However, access restrictions are currently impeding the delivery of aid. Furthermore, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has projected that shortages of seeds and feed, along with high fertilizer costs, will impact the next agricultural season, exacerbating food insecurity, which is expected to persist beyond the lean season.


The crisis in Niger adds to the existing food security challenges in Western and Central Africa. The number of people requiring food and nutritional assistance in the region has risen significantly, from around 10.7 million in 2019 to nearly 29 million in 2021 and over 40 million in 2022 and 2023. Between June and August 2023, approximately 42.5 million people in Nigeria and other West African countries were experiencing a food crisis or worse.


Multiple factors contribute to the food security challenges in the region, including civil insecurity and conflict leading to forced displacement, climatic shocks, political instability, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. These factors have increased the volatility of food and commodity prices and triggered widespread inflation. Current food prices for staple and imported food products remain higher than the same period last year.


Additionally, recent reports indicate that the border closure between Nigeria and Niger following the coup in Niger has disrupted trade between the two countries, potentially impacting Nigerian-Nigerien trade worth approximately $226.34 million.



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