Reference Date: 27-March-2012
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Final production estimates indicate above-average rice production in 2011, despite erratic precipitation in parts of the country
Rice prices remain high
Assistance required for Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia
A good rice crop gathered in 2011
Harvesting of the 2011 paddy crop, virtually the only cereal grown in the country, was completed in December. In spite of erratic precipitation in parts of the country, official estimates indicate that cereal production was similar to the previous year’s above-average level of 298 000 tonnes.
Increasing commodity prices
Rice prices were on an increasing trend since the beginning of 2011 reflecting increased demand from the influx of refugees from Côte d’Ivoire but also following trends on the international market. For instance, rice prices in November 2011 in Tubmanburg and Red Light markets in western Liberia were respectively 57 percent and 39 percent higher than in November 2010.
Liberia is highly dependent on rice
purchased on the international market. A
n estimated two-thirds of the national cereal consumption requirement, put at about 530 000 tonnes, is covered by imports. The Government has suspended the import tariff on rice to help maintain lower market prices
Food assistance continues to be needed for Ivoirian refugees in the East
The post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire forced thousands of people to leave the country and seek refuge in eastern Liberia. The refugee influx into Liberia has had serious negative impact on Liberian communities in the four counties bordering Côte d’Ivoire. The sudden increase in population has further depleted local resources and increased vulnerability: the proportion of households with inadequate food consumption scores increased from 32 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2011 according to inter-agency Emergency Food Security and Market Assessment conducted last year.
Most of the displaced persons have returned to their areas of origin, following the improvement of the security situation in Cote d’Ivoire but, as of mid March, nearly 70 000 Ivorian refugees were still living in Liberia. Access to food is constrained for many households following the disruption in their livelihoods. The Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) launched in April 2011 for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries (including Liberia) was followed by a Consolidated Appeal (CAP) 2012, aiming at providing assistance to about 262 000 beneficiaries. By late March the CAP has received about 8 percent of its required funding of USD 121 million.