Immediate action required for food security in Ebola affected countries

Immediate action required for food security in Ebola affected countries

16/03/2015

The Permanent Interstates Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) and its partners released a report on the current food security situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The latest harvest has improved the current access to food, while the lifting of movement restrictions in Liberia and Sierra Leone and the recent reopening of the main border crossing points should trigger the recovery of markets and trade in the next months.

However, the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak is still having a negative impact on food security and livelihoods due to the effect of disruptions on economic and farming activities over the past year. The outbreak and related containment measures have eroded households’ livelihoods leading to decreasing purchasing power and food stocks in the most EVD affected areas, while bordure closure and others movement restrictions have decreased trading opportunities in other areas. The report indicates that over 1.2 million people are currently in a food security crisis situation - phase 3 on the food insecurity scale - and need immediate assistance to protect their livelihoods and reduce acute malnutrition. In addition, the food security of 3.9 million people is under pressure, phase 2. Interventions are required to strengthen their resilience capacity and reduce disaster risk.

Over the lean season, between June and August 2015, the number of people in phase 2 - under pressure - could reach over 4.6 million while over 2.2 million are expected to be in phase 3 - crisis situation.

The report presents the results of the Cadre Harmonisé (CH) analysis held in Dakar from 23 to 26 February 2015. This analysis was conducted by CILSS with FAO and other members of the CH Technical Committee, as well as representatives of the Governments of the three countries. Using the CH methodology, partners analysed the information collected during recent assessment missions focused on market functioning and households’ capacity to access food, as well as other secondary information.

The report includes recommendations to improve the monitoring of food security and required response measures. A detailed report for each country will soon be released, as well as the reports from the market assessment missions.