|Area:||72 000 sq.km|
|Climate:||Mostly tropical wet-dry; extreme south tropical wet; one rainy season: March-October|
|Population:||4.67 million (1998 estimate); G.N.P. per caput: U.S.$ 180 (1995)|
|Specific characteristics of the country:||Low-income food-deficit country; coastal country|
|Major foodcrops:||Rice, roots and tubers|
|Marketing year:||January/December; Lean season: July-August|
|Share of cereals in total calorie intake:||57 percent|
Scattered rains occurred in April over the eastern part of the country, but the growing season really started in May, when abundant rainfall was recorded over the entire country. Rainfed rice has been planted in April in the east and in May in the rest of the country, while the planting of maize, millet and sorghum is drawing to an end in the north and the centre. Cumulative rainfall is normal to below normal, with scarce rains during the first and second dekads of June over the centre and the west. Vegetation satellite images show below normal vegetation coverage in the region surrounding Freetown, where a below normal cereal output might be expected. However, due to several years of civil strife, the country will still rely mostly on food assistance to cover its needs.
The food supply situation is improving in Freetown and in the centre of the country, controlled by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace keeping forces, where food aid, seeds and tools are being distributed. However, continued fighting in the east and north of the country between ECOMOG and junta forces is affecting food availability and agricultural activities. Violence is causing substantial population displacements and looting in these areas, and foodcrops production for the 1998 growing season is expected to be once more very limited.
About 130 000 refugees out of 200 000 located at the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone are inaccessible to humanitarian organisations due to security conditions. These displaced persons are very vulnerable and rely almost entirely on food assistance, and major malnutrition problems can be expected if no assistance is provided quickly.
The overall food supply situation remains precarious and massive assistance is needed. Cereal import requirements for 1998 are estimated at about 260 000 tonnes, including 80 000 tonnes of food aid. A UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for the period June-December 1998 is under preparation.
|of which: Structural food aid||40||10||15||65|
|1998 Domestic Availability||-||257||52||309|
|1997 Production (rice in paddy terms)||-||428||52||480|
|1997 Production (rice in milled terms)||-||257||52||309|
|Possible stock drawdown||-||-||-||-|
|of which: local purchase requirement||-||-||-||-|
|1998 Import Requirement||90||150||20||260|
|Anticipated commercial imports||60||120||-||180|
|Food aid needs||30||30||20||80|
|Current Aid Position|
|Food aid pledges||24||10||5||39|
|of which: Delivered||-||-||-||-|
|of which: for local use||-||-||-||-|
|Estimated Per Caput Consumption (kg/year)||19||69||13||101|
|1997 production as % of normal:||107|
|1998 import requirement as % of normal:||141|
|1998 food aid requirement as % of normal:||123|