A recent assessment of Liberia’s food security status, dubbed “Liberia Food Security Assessment,” finds that 1.6 million households in the country go to bed without any meal in a day. Three percent of the 1.3 million households, according to the assessment, are severely food insecure and 38 percent of households are marginally food insecure, and these households can relapse into food insecurity depending on further shocks like a flood, and or an outbreak of a new pandemic.
The findings were revealed during a one-day validation meeting on LFSA held at the office of the new Project Management Unit (PMU) of the Ministry of Agriculture in the Gardnersville Township on October 9, 2020. It brought together participants from government ministries and agencies including MOA, Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-services, (LISGIS), and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA). Development partnering organizations including the United Nations World Food Programme, ZOA, and CONCERN also participated in the meeting.
The validation meeting which was monitored virtually also focused on areas of the assessment coverage that include household agricultural activities, access to farmland, most harvested crops, and livestock production; food sources for rural and urban dwellers; shocks including COVID-19, price fluctuation, crop damage, lack of household labor, household members temporarily ill, deaths of household members; market access under COVID-19; household income under COVID-19; food consumption by county; food expenditure share; livelihood coping strategies; food-related coping mechanism; reduced coping strategies, and food insecurity by county in the year of 2020.
“The meeting was also combined with the CADAR Harmonizie cell-members training, which preceded the analysis procedures and the preparation of a report on the country’s food security and nutrition sanitation,” says Sam R. Yoryor, III, Director of Food Security and Nutrition Division under the MOA.
Reflecting on the importance of the assessment, the National Programme Policy Officer at WFP, Amos M. Bellayan, says that data will help ensure improved decisions for development in the country.
“I recall that over the period of time, it was difficult to present data concerning situations like this; but at least go forward we have data that we can produce, and ensure improved decision for development in the country,” he says.
Earlier, a proxy for the Minister of Agriculture, J. Dennis Wiagbe Jr., lauded collaborating stakeholders for their efforts in ensuring food security in Liberia.
“We certainly appreciate the collaboration between and among partners in supporting the policy of the government of Liberia in ensuring food security for its citizens,” he says.