Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
18 December 2014
  • Households are continuing to rely on high levels of negative coping mechanisms in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, and in Lofa County, Liberia – areas that were food-secure before the crisis. Ebola-induced food insecurity remains a serious concern.
  • In the Nzerekore Region of Guinea and in the central zone of Liberia, households are using fewer negative coping strategies compared to November. In other zones, levels of negative coping strategies have remained constant over the past month.
  • Generally, local rice prices are in seasonal decline and imported rice prices are stable or falling. Palm oil prices are stable or increasing in Liberia as markets resume, but they are falling in Sierra Leone, contrary to usual seasonal trends.
  • While wage-to-rice terms of trade are improving in most areas of Guinea and in southern and eastern Sierra Leone, they are declining in Liberia and in areas of Sierra Leone that are experiencing continued EVD transmission.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
30 November 2014
  • In Lofa County, many households are continuing to resort to coping strategies in spite of the recent harvest.
  • Local rice prices have dropped in all regions of Liberia, making rice more accessible to the general public. Despite falling wages, the purchasing power for local rice has improved.
  • Data shows that Montserrado County is more food secure than other areas of Liberia.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
30 November 2014

Every month, WFP and FAO issue an information note on food security trends and humanitarian implications in West Africa. The bulletin offers analysis of food availability international and regional market trends, and provides updates on household food security in the region. Recommendations are made for humanitarian interventions. The bulletin is published in both French and English.

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
25 November 2014
  • Despite the start of the main harvest, little-to-no effect on indicators in high EVD-affected zones of all countries has been observed, including Forest Guinea (Guinea), Lofa County (Liberia) and Kailahun District (Sierra Leone), where people are continuing to implement severe coping strategies.
  • The geography of food insecurity is shifting as the epidemic evolves. For instance, decreased wages and terms of trade are observed in the newly cordoned-off Northern Province in Sierra Leone, where many new EVD cases have been registered since September.
  • In Liberia and Sierra Leone, food security impacts appear less severe in urban areas than in rural ones.
  • While imported rice prices are generally stable, the price of local rice has dropped noticeably in production areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as new supplies are brought to market.
  • The EVD outbreak may be disrupting wage labour markets in newly-affected areas of Sierra Leone. Wage rates remain low in Lofa.
Market Analysis, Monitoring, Population Numbers and Sampling, Food Security Analysis
24 November 2014
  • Governments and humanitarian actors need estimates of how many people are food insecure due to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • We estimate that almost 1.7 million people are currently food insecure — 200,000 are food insecure because of Ebola.
  • Low Estimate for March 2015: If the disease continues to spread at the average rate observed in the previous 42 days and then begins to slow down by January 2015, as predicted by health experts, the number of food insecure will likely reach 2.3 million. The Ebola effect accounts for 750,000 people.
  • High Estimate for March 2015: If the disease spreads at the maximum rate observed in the previous 42 days and then begins to slow down by January 2015, the number of food insecure will likely reach 3.0 million. In this scenario, the Ebola effect accounts for 1.4 million people.
  • This analysis shows that the disease will impact urban areas more than rural areas in all three countries. Provinces that were relatively food secure before this crisis are among the worst affected.
  • The cost of inaction is extremely high. Even if the disease slows down as of January, the number of people rendered food insecure by Ebola is substantial. A two-pronged approach is therefore necessary: most importantly, the disease must be contained; at the same time, appropriate assistance must be provided for all those whose lives and livelihoods are being directly or indirectly affected by this unprecedented crisis.
Market Analysis, Monitoring, Population Numbers and Sampling, Food Security Analysis
23 November 2014

WFP VAM publishes ‘Special Focus’ documents when an emerging food security issue deserves in-depth attention. Each ‘Special Focus’ bulletin provides essential elements of analysis for decision makers. Sources of information include WFP’s VAM  newtwork of VAM experts, and  our partners.

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
16 November 2014

Since September 2014, WFP has been collecting basic food security data remotely through mobile phones in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa. Each month, mVAM (mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping) surveys are sent to randomly selected panels of households in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia through text message (SMS) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology. The average sample size in each of the three countries for the first round was 770 respondents. The findings confirm higher reduced Coping Strategy Index (rCSI) in Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) affected areas (see map).

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
10 November 2014
  • As of October 2014, all areas of Liberia are affected by food insecurity. Households in a central zone that includes the counties of Nimba, Bong and Margibi are using severe coping strategies most frequently. This zone accounts for the bulk of Ebola virus disease (EVD) cases outside the capital, Monrovia.
  • According to recent inter-agency assessments, food demand and supply has diminished because of quarantine measures. The price of imported rice in Liberia has increased since April, influenced by exchange rate depreciation. Cassava prices have remained stable.
  • Wage-to-rice terms of trade appear to be lowest in the county of Lofa and in the central zone. EVD impacts on the economy may have lowered the demand for casual labour, affecting household income and purchasing power.
Market Analysis, Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
30 September 2014


  • Border closures and movement restrictions reduce trade volumes in Ebola-affected sub-region.
  • Monthly prices remained stable between August and September 2014 in Guinea with the exception of Labé market, were local rice prices fell by 21 percent.
  • Boarder closure and movement restrictions in Guinea cause retail and producer prices for potatoes to drop significantly in recent months.
  • In Liberia, prices for imported rice have continued to increase beyond their seasonal pattern.
  • The exchanges rates of the Liberian Dollar (LRD) and the Sierra Leone Leone (SLL) against the US Dollar have stabilized (LRD) / increased (SLL) in September. In Liberia, however, the exchange rate remains more than 13 percent below September 2013 levels, which maintains inflationary pressure on domestic prices of imported food commodities.
  • 16 weekly markets closed in Senegal along the border with Guinea, causing significant trade contraction between the two countries.
Market Analysis, Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
31 August 2014

Key statements as of 26 August 2014:

  • Guinea: Border closure measures (Senegal/Guinea) seem to significantly increase food prices in the Labe market. The full extent of Ebola on food prices remains unclear and will continue to be closely monitored and analysed;
  • Liberia: The official announcement of the Ebola outbreak in March 2014 did not seem to affect the price of imported rice at first. However, the deteriorating situation is a likely contributor to the increase in food prices observed since July 2014. The current analysis suggests that the increase in rice prices is due in part i) to the devaluation of the Liberian Dollar, ii) a general increase of international rice prices and iii) movement restrictions in certain parts of Liberia.
  • Sierra Leone: Similar to Liberia, it seems that the geographic spread of Ebola has led to a price increase of imported and local rice since July. As of 25 August 2014, data on food prices is extremely limited to enable a reliable price analysis.
  • Regional: The situation in Nigeria will continue to be closely monitored.