Home Economy Food Insecurity Looms …As Hundreds of Over One Million Liberians Fall Victim

Food Insecurity Looms …As Hundreds of Over One Million Liberians Fall Victim

by newsmanager

MONROVIA: A dire humanitarian crisis has struck Liberia, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reporting that over half a million Liberians are suffering from acute food insecurity.

UN -FAO: “Over 531, people in Liberia are projected to be acutely food insecure”.

The FAO, in its latest Crop Prospects and Food Situation report, noted that the situation is alarming, and affects a staggering number of citizens with approximately 21,500 people in emergency food insecurity levels.

“Over 531,000 people in Liberia are projected to be acutely food insecure during the June to August 2023 lean season period, including approximately 21,500 people in CH Phase 4 (Emergency),” the FAO report said.

“[The] acute food insecurity is associated with high food prices due to high international commodity prices and elevated transport costs,” it added.

Emergency food insecurity refers to households suffering from severe food deprivation. While acute food insecurity occurs when a household or an individual cannot access adequate food, putting their livelihoods in immediate danger.

The alarming FAO assessment, however, comes a few months after the 2022 Global Hunger Index report, claimed that Liberia, which is rich in arable land, suffers from a serious level of hunger which is the second highest in the ECOWAS region behind crisis-hit Niger.

The hunger score for Liberia is 32.4, which is higher than the average hunger score of Africa, which stands at 18 percent, and Africa South of the Sahara, which stands at 27 percent.

And in Africa South of the Sahara, only Niger performs worse than Liberia, which is the world region with the second-highest hunger index score, slightly below that of South Asia.

“In the 2022 Global Hunger Index, Liberia ranks 113th out of the 121 countries and, with a score of 32.4, Liberia has a level of hunger that is serious,” the report noted. “Liberia scores 32.4 out of 100 points according to the ranking matrix, [means] hunger level is still high, even though progress has been made in some areas.”

Hunger in Liberia, according to experts, is primarily driven by low local agricultural productivity and limited availability of agricultural inputs, mechanized equipment, financial capital, and extension services.

According to the World Bank, the growing demand for rice in Liberia and the high consumption rate which is more than Nigeria and Ghana was fueling food insecurity and poverty, and would disproportionately affect the most vulnerable.

The Bank, in a report about the Liberian economy, which was released last month, noted that over the past 15 years, Liberia has increased its rice consumption at an annual rate of 4.6 percent, reaching 560,000 metric tons in 2021.

The report, which cited data from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), named Liberia as the fifth-highest consumer of rice in West Africa.

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