Reference Date: 28-May-2014
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable weather conditions at the start of the 2014 cropping season
Improved 2013 cereal production
Inflation forecast to remain low in 2014
A large number of refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria arrived in northern and eastern regions straining the already limited available resources
Good prospects for current crops
The main season maize crops will be harvested from July in the bimodal centre and south. Satellite-based information and analysis indicate that crop growing conditions from March to the second dekad of May 2014 have been generally favourable in most regions following well-distributed rainfall. In some areas, early season dryness in March was followed by adequate rains in April and May, which improved moisture conditions.
In the unimodal north, where sorghum and millet are predominantly grown, crops are being sown under favourable weather conditions, for harvest from October.
Improved 2013 cereal production
Harvesting of the 2013 food crops was concluded late last year into early 2014, under overall favourable conditions. Although official estimates are as yet not available, the 2013 aggregate cereal production is tentatively put at about 3.1 million tonnes, 5 percent up on the 2012 output and about 10 percent above the average of the previous five years.
Inflation rates forecast to remain at low levels in 2014
According to the IMF, the average inflation rate, which was estimated at a low 2 percent in 2013, is forecast to slightly increase to 2.5 percent in 2014.
In the last several years, rates of inflation were highly volatile, varying from a low of 1 percent in 2007 to 5 percent in 2008 then declining to 3 percent and 1 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively. Rates rose again in 2011 to 3 percent, stabilizing in 2012.
Large number of refugees from Central African Republic and Nigeria arrived in northern and eastern regions in recent months
Cameroon’s northern and eastern regions have been put under the enormous strain following the arrival of large numbers of refugees fleeing from neighbouring Nigeria and Central African Republic (CAR). As of mid-May 2014, the number of refugees from CAR which sought refuge in Cameroon’s East, Adamaoua and North regions, after a surge in sectarian violence in December 2013 was estimated at about 84 000. UNHCR estimates that the number refugees could reach up to 100 000 individuals in the next few months. Taking into account the refugees who had entered the country in earlier waves since 2004 to escape rebel groups and bandits, the total number of refugees from CAR residing in Cameroon is currently estimated at about 192 000 and could soon exceed 200 000 if new arrivals continue at their current rates.
Refugees from Nigeria, which entered the country following the serious deterioration of the security situation in Borno State in June 2013, were estimated at about 5 300 in April 2014, and are located in the Far North region.
An Inter-Agency Rapid Assessment Mission conducted in February 2014 showed that refugees have very limited resources; their productive assets have been depleted, cattle, money and other livelihood assets were looted, burned or left behind. After several weeks of travel with hardly anything to eat, their food and nutrition status had worsened dramatically. As a result, they have to rely on the limited resources of the host communities, thus risking of creating tensions with the local population, especially in the Far North and North regions, where food insecurity and malnutrition have the highest incidence.
To tackle the food insecurity situation of the new refugees from CAR which sought refuge in Cameroon from December 2013, an Emergency Operation (EMOP) worth USD 15.5 million has been approved by WFP and FAO on 22 May 2014 to provide 14 000 tonnes of food and nutrition support to 100 000 beneficiaries between 26 May 2014 and 26 January 2015.