Market Analysis, Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
31 March 2015

WFP’s food security analysis/VAM service is actively monitoring the food security situation across the three primary countries affected by Ebola: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Various assessments are ongoing to better understand the impact of the crisis on food markets and households’ food security. Such information is critical for informing governments’ policies and programmes and the broader humanitarian response.

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
26 February 2015

The WFP Seasonal Monitor examines satellite imagery of rainfall and vegetation in order to assess the development of the growing season and how such conditions might impact the lives and livelihoods of the resident populations. Real time satellite data streams and seasonal forecasts are analyzed to highlight potential developments that may be of  humanitarian concern.

This Seasonal Monitor webpage provides real time satellite data streams and seasonal forecasts to highlight changes in the progression of the agricultural season that may be of concern. This analysis is also presented in Power Point and report format.

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
31 January 2015
  • Negative coping levels remained high in Guinea, especially in Forest Guinea and Middle Guinea. Households headed by women are most vulnerable to food insecurity.
  • In January, local rice prices dropped seasonally in most markets. Palm oil prices are recovering in Forest Guinea, perhaps signalling a recovery in markets and trade.
  • Wage rates for January continued to drop in Guinea, limiting access to food for wage labour-dependent households.
  • Senegal opened its land border with Guinea on 26 January, allowing people and goods to move freely for the first time in five months. Middle Guinea, where negative coping levels are among the highest in the country, should directly benefit from increased trade, as it is the main corridor to and from Senegal.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
31 January 2015
  • Households in Freetown and Monrovia used fewer negative coping strategies in January than in December. The same was true in Eastern Province, Sierra Leone. However, negative coping levels remained high in Lofa in Liberia, in Northern Province in Sierra Leone, and in Guinea’s Forest region. Households headed by women are most vulnerable to food insecurity.
  • Local rice prices for January dropped slightly in Guinea and were stable in Liberia, but they increased slightly in Sierra Leone. Palm oil prices are recovering in Forest Guinea and in eastern Sierra Leone. The lifting of movement restrictions is bolstering the recovery of markets and trade in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
  • Wage rates for January improved in Liberia, but they continued to drop in Sierra Leone and Guinea, limiting access to food for wage labour-dependent households. As the land preparation season approaches, labour and agricultural input markets should continue to be monitored to assess prospects for the 2015 crop.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
31 December 2014
  • Despite the ongoing harvest, households continue to rely on negative coping mechanisms, especially in Forest Guinea and Upper Guinea. Nonetheless, households in Forest Guinea are employing fewer negative coping strategies than in November.
  • Local rice prices are dropping thanks to the harvest, while imported rice prices have remained stable. As a result, terms of trade have improved or remained constant in most areas of Guinea.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
18 December 2014
  • Households are continuing to rely on high levels of negative coping mechanisms in Kailahun, Sierra Leone, and in Lofa County, Liberia – areas that were food-secure before the crisis. Ebola-induced food insecurity remains a serious concern.
  • In the Nzerekore Region of Guinea and in the central zone of Liberia, households are using fewer negative coping strategies compared to November. In other zones, levels of negative coping strategies have remained constant over the past month.
  • Generally, local rice prices are in seasonal decline and imported rice prices are stable or falling. Palm oil prices are stable or increasing in Liberia as markets resume, but they are falling in Sierra Leone, contrary to usual seasonal trends.
  • While wage-to-rice terms of trade are improving in most areas of Guinea and in southern and eastern Sierra Leone, they are declining in Liberia and in areas of Sierra Leone that are experiencing continued EVD transmission.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
30 November 2014
  • Households in the Forest Guinea and in Conakry are resorting more frequently to negative coping strategies. The coping strategy index remains high in Nzerekore and Conakry, the areas most affected by the Ebola virus disease (EVD).
  • Despite the harvest season, the level of coping strategies used by households has not decreased since October. In Upper Guinea, the spread of EVD in the region and its impact on employment in artisanal mining may explain this phenomenon.
  • In most areas, local rice prices have fallen as the harvest has increased food availability in markets. Imported rice prices remain stable compared to October. While the terms of trade of daily casual labourers have improved, they still remain low in Forest Guinea.
Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
30 November 2014

Every month, WFP and FAO issue an information note on food security trends and humanitarian implications in West Africa. The bulletin offers analysis of food availability international and regional market trends, and provides updates on household food security in the region. Recommendations are made for humanitarian interventions. The bulletin is published in both French and English.

Monitoring, Food Security Analysis
25 November 2014
  • Despite the start of the main harvest, little-to-no effect on indicators in high EVD-affected zones of all countries has been observed, including Forest Guinea (Guinea), Lofa County (Liberia) and Kailahun District (Sierra Leone), where people are continuing to implement severe coping strategies.
  • The geography of food insecurity is shifting as the epidemic evolves. For instance, decreased wages and terms of trade are observed in the newly cordoned-off Northern Province in Sierra Leone, where many new EVD cases have been registered since September.
  • In Liberia and Sierra Leone, food security impacts appear less severe in urban areas than in rural ones.
  • While imported rice prices are generally stable, the price of local rice has dropped noticeably in production areas of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as new supplies are brought to market.
  • The EVD outbreak may be disrupting wage labour markets in newly-affected areas of Sierra Leone. Wage rates remain low in Lofa.
Market Analysis, Monitoring, Population Numbers and Sampling, Food Security Analysis
24 November 2014
  • Governments and humanitarian actors need estimates of how many people are food insecure due to the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
  • We estimate that almost 1.7 million people are currently food insecure — 200,000 are food insecure because of Ebola.
  • Low Estimate for March 2015: If the disease continues to spread at the average rate observed in the previous 42 days and then begins to slow down by January 2015, as predicted by health experts, the number of food insecure will likely reach 2.3 million. The Ebola effect accounts for 750,000 people.
  • High Estimate for March 2015: If the disease spreads at the maximum rate observed in the previous 42 days and then begins to slow down by January 2015, the number of food insecure will likely reach 3.0 million. In this scenario, the Ebola effect accounts for 1.4 million people.
  • This analysis shows that the disease will impact urban areas more than rural areas in all three countries. Provinces that were relatively food secure before this crisis are among the worst affected.
  • The cost of inaction is extremely high. Even if the disease slows down as of January, the number of people rendered food insecure by Ebola is substantial. A two-pronged approach is therefore necessary: most importantly, the disease must be contained; at the same time, appropriate assistance must be provided for all those whose lives and livelihoods are being directly or indirectly affected by this unprecedented crisis.