Over a million Senegalese are estimated food insecure and have received WFP’s assistance since April. The recent SMART survey shows that the GAM prevalence of children 6-59 months old has increased since November 2011. GAM rates are above the 15 per cent critical threshold in Podor, Ranerou and Kanel departments, and above the 10 per cent serious threshold in 13 departments.
The poor 2011-2012 agricultural harvest, with the consequent depletion of household food stocks and the increase of local cereal and pulses prices, compounded with falling remittances, are the underlying causes of the food insecurity. Well ahead of the normal lean season (July-Sept) the majority of rural households became net buyers, without being able to afford the same amount of food as last year. This may also explain the high GAM rates. Moreover, recent floods have exacerbated the living conditions of the poorest families at the outskirts of Dakar and in the Fatick region, for which the government is responding through food assistance.
Despite a potentially good harvest, Senegalese might be affected by the rise of global prices of imported cereals (such as wheat and maize) impacting the price of bread and poultry.