2018 Food and Nutrition Security Report States
Liberian households headed by individuals with little or no education are more vulnerable to food insecurity while the opposite is true for households headed by someone who has attended a technical institute and above, according to the 2018 comprehensive food and nutrition survey (CFSNS) report.
The report demonstrates that a higher percentage of 28% of household heads with no form of education and of these households, 24% were notably food insecure while 21% were moderately food insecure and 3% were severely food insecure. The survey thus established that higher educational attainment has a positive effect on food security status of the household in Liberia.
The Government of Liberia through the Ministries of Agriculture and Health together with food and nutrition sector stakeholders attending a one-day workshop recently completed the validation of the report in Monrovia.
On the aspect of nutrition, the overall consumption levels of most Liberian households have an acceptable diet consumption. However, there are some households that are struggling to consume foods with the different nutrients. The analysis investigated the consumption of three key macro- and micronutrients – protein, vitamin A and heme iron – which is computed from the food consumption data.
Despite peaks of consumption of macro and micro nutrients nationally, there are pockets of households that are failing to consume the three key macro- and micronutrients. These trends are observed in Lofa, Rural Montserrado and Rivercess Counties where households who have not consumed the heme-iron are 13%, 10% and 14% respectively. Lofa (8%), Nimba (7%) and Riverecess (9%) also have the highest number of households who never consumed proteins.
The report findings also show that there is high proportion of 75% of households who consume foods rich in proteins almost on a daily basis. While the least consumed on a daily basis are foods rich in Vitamin A (45%), all the same, the figures are not alarmingly low.
The 2018 CFSNS is a national assessment periodically implemented by the Government of Liberia with strong support from its humanitarian and development partners, particularly those in the food security and nutrition sector/cluster including but not limited to UN agencies, International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), USAID, EU, ECOAGRIS among others. It is a nationwide assessment, conducted in and statistically significant to all political subdivisions or counties of the country.
The study delivers on the food security monitoring system articulated in the Food and Nutrition Strategy which emphasizes the necessity for regular monitoring of the food security and nutrition situation given the vulnerability of Liberia to external and internal shocks.
Speaking at the 2018 CFSNS validation workshop, the Agriculture officer for USAID, Teffera Betru, said that the report was important to know the food security status in order to combat it.
“The UN agencies and the USAID mission are working with the government of Liberia on how to combat the issue of food and nutrition security,” he mentioned.
The World Food Program (WFP) country representative, Bienvenu Djossa said it was important to know the root causes of food insecurity status of Liberia in order to take action.
He said that the exercise was necessary to enable policy makers to take action.
Joseph Moore who proxy for the minister of Agriculture, Dr. Mogona Flomo said that the government was grateful to the partners for contributing to the survey and that the data will be use for the intended purpose.