31 January 2015
- Households in Monrovia used fewer coping strategies in January than in December. However, negative coping levels remained high in Lofa and Bong counties. Poorer households and households headed by women are the most food insecure.
- Local and domestic rice prices were stable in January, and wage levels improved. As the land preparation season begins (January-May), labour and agricultural input markets should continue to be monitored to assess prospects for the 2015 crop.
31 January 2015
- Households in Freetown and Monrovia used fewer negative coping strategies in January than in December. The same was true in Eastern Province, Sierra Leone. However, negative coping levels remained high in Lofa in Liberia, in Northern Province in Sierra Leone, and in Guinea’s Forest region. Households headed by women are most vulnerable to food insecurity.
- Local rice prices for January dropped slightly in Guinea and were stable in Liberia, but they increased slightly in Sierra Leone. Palm oil prices are recovering in Forest Guinea and in eastern Sierra Leone. The lifting of movement restrictions is bolstering the recovery of markets and trade in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
- Wage rates for January improved in Liberia, but they continued to drop in Sierra Leone and Guinea, limiting access to food for wage labour-dependent households. As the land preparation season approaches, labour and agricultural input markets should continue to be monitored to assess prospects for the 2015 crop.
31 December 2014
- Households continue to rely on high levels of negative coping in Lofa, a county that was generally food secure before the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak.
- High levels of negative coping and declining terms of trade were observed in December in the western zone including the counties of Grand Cape Mount, Gbaroplu and Bomi, where EVD transmission continues.
- By contrast, people were resorting to fewer negative coping mechanisms in the central zone that includes the counties of Bong, Margibi and Nimba.
- Although there are signs of recovery with the reopening of markets and roadways, the effects of EVD on food security may outlast the EVD epidemic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
- 22 February 2015 Liberia: WFP Helps Communities Transition Out of Ebola Crisis
- 17 December 2014 Ebola Leaves Hundreds of Thousands Facing Hunger (For the Media)
- 24 November 2014 Liberia: Inside A Food Distribution