Country

Liberia

The past six months have witnessed an unprecedented Ebola outbreak that has affected five countries in West Africa and threatens to compromise the social, political and economic fabric of the sub-Saharan African region, while also impacting the food security situation. In Liberia, a Food Security Cluster was established in September 2014 to provide a forum which brings together national and international humanitarian partners to improve the timeliness and impact of food security assistance for Ebola-impacted communities. In particular, the cluster helps ensure coherent, coordinated and integrated humanitarian responses driven by the assessed food security needs of the affected population.

Info

  • Capital - Monrovia
  • Population - 3,225,837
  • Time Zone - GMT +00:00
  • Currency - Liberian Dollar (LRD)

Highlights

FSC Priorities

  • Respond to the immediate food and livelihoods needs of people affected by EVD
  • Improve immediate access to food for the communities affected by EVD, through targeted food distribution including cash transfers and assets for food production.
  • Increase food availability and household incomes for members who have been affected by EVD by restoring and maintaining agricultural livelihoods, essential assets and developing livelihood and income generating activities,
  • Improve food intake, increased nutritional knowledge and promote hygiene practices to reduce risk of malnutrition.
  • Strengthen the capacity of affected communities, and local, regional and national level authorities, to conduct appropriate social awareness activities, prevent and mitigate risks and implement effective emergency preparedness and response.
  • Ensure an effective, accountable and coordinated food security response founded on evidence-based interventions that advocate for and take into consideration the needs of each segment of affected communities by age, gender and diversity.

Needs

  • Continued food and livelihoods assistance for people affected by EVD.
  • Supply chain for continuous distribution  of animal feeds to the various SHGs animal husbandry sites
  • Micro grants to existing SHGs for improved and an expanded agriculture production(animal husbandry and vegetable crop production)
  • Cash transfer to reignite village savings and loan schemes.
  • Training of farmers, forest users, youth and women groups
  • Support to agriculture production in the affected communities.
  • More awareness and sensitization of farmers on the spread of Ebola.
  • Continued assessment needs to understand the impacts of the EVD crisis on agriculture and food security.
  • Community growth monitoring and promotion
  • Increased logistical support to empowered & strengthen Agriculture partners.

Observed gaps:

  • Lack of cash in communities especially Women’s Associations/VSLAs and drop in purchasing power
  • Lack of adequate funding for national NGOs
  • Lack of manpower due to the fact that many of the SHGs members are persons with disabilities.
  • Fear and often stigma especially in the wake of Ebola
  • There is a need to better understand the impacts of the EVD crisis on agriculture and food security to inform immediate/short term, middle term and long term interventions.

Challenges

  • Reaching isolated communities because of road conditions. Limitations with road network, transportation and communication continue to cause challenges for partner activities.
  • Restrictions on the movement of traders into some communities. This is a strong measure being instituted by some communities to avoid the transmission of Ebola by visitors.  
  • There is a need to strengthen the use of local NGOs as implementing partners in the distribution of food around the country as well as their focused communities.
  • As primary health care facilities (non-EBOLA) are less accessible, some agriculture and livelihoods activities are reducing and is affecting food security.

(30 October, 2014)