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Special News Alert: Sierra Leone

While the food supply situation in Freetown might improve following the recent events in Sierra Leone, it is likely to worsen in rural areas. As the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) military forces now control Freetown, the economic embargo in force since August 1997 might be relaxed or lifted allowing some improvement in the functioning of food markets as well as the flow of relief supplies to the capital. On the other hand, if fighting spreads into the rural areas, which remained relatively calm during 1997, more people will be displaced and the performance of vital agricultural activities such as land preparation and planting of the rice crop, which normally starts in April, will be hampered. Heightened insecurity will also impede the distribution of inputs to farmers and possibly also lead to looting of cassava fields and rice stocks on farms by the fighters. As a result the area planted and crop production may fall in 1998 if peace is not fully restored throughout the country.

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26 February 1998

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  • Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS)
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