Reference Date: 02-June-2015
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Escalating civil conflict halted economic recovery and deteriorated food security prospects
Security uncertainties disrupted procurement and distribution systems resulting in lost income opportunities for farmers unable to market their production and led to food shortages in urban areas
Wheat import needs estimated at high levels
Below-average domestic crop production forecast in 2015
Escalating civil conflict stemming from two parallel and competing legislative and executive bodies halted economic recovery and led to the deterioration of food security prospects. Civil insecurity, fuelled by the presence of armed groups, brought about the destruction of public infrastructure, disrupted procurement and distribution systems that resulted in food shortages, mainly in urban areas and in loss of income for farmers that were unable to market their production.
Harvesting of the 2015 winter crops started in mid-April and should continue until mid-June. Normal meteorological conditions were reported to have favoured good crop establishment and development although security-related concerns are complicating agricultural activities. In addition to widespread fuel shortages, farmers reported that security concerns prevented them from seed purchases, particularly for crops such as vegetables, where seeds are not normally saved from the previous harvest.
Accordingly, the preliminary forecast for the 2015 cereal crop indicates a lower crop of about 254 000 tonnes, almost 10 percent below average.
Libya relies heavily on imports (up to 90 percent) for its cereal consumption requirements. In the just-ending 2014/15 marketing year (July/June), the actual import requirement is projected at 3.1 million tonnes, a decrease of about 3 percent compared to the previous year.
Continuing conflict a set-back to economy
Libya is one of the most hydrocarbon dependent economies in the world, with oil revenue accounting for more than 80 percent of state revenues. Libyan oil production has recovered faster than expected following the conflict in 2011, but is currently well below the 2010 capacity due to clashes between groups in the oil producing regions.
After a contraction in the Gross Domestic Production (GDP) in 2011 by almost 60 percent caused by the fall in oil production, the economy grew by over 92 percent in 2012 (year-on-year). Continuous political transition and volatile oil production resulted in a contraction of over 23 percent in 2014. The economy is expected to contract an additional 10 percent in 2015, depending on domestic stability as well as international oil prices.
Inflation decreased from almost 16 percent in 2011 to about 9 percent in 2014 due to high subsidies, currency stability and suboptimal growth. Insecurity-induced supply chain disruptions are likely to contribute to increased inflation in 2015. The unemployment rate, estimated at 26 percent as of end-2010, is unlikely to improve in the short run. A large share of the population is normally employed in the public sector.
In May 2015, the WFP resumed food assistance to displaced people affected by the continuing armed conflict in the country. Currently, 51 000 of the most vulnerable are assisted mainly in Wadi ash-Shati, Misrata, Sebha and Traghen. Additional distributions are planned for the eastern part of the country. The WFP aims to assist up to 243 000 beneficiaries affected by the crisis in Libya following the disruption of basic social services and the Public Distribution System.