FEWS NET stepped up its monitoring and reporting in countries affected by Ebola Virus Disease, particularly Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, between 2014-2016. Special reports analyzing the impact of the epidemic on food security and market functioning are available on this webpage.
Key Message Update
- 2015/16 rice production levels in Liberia were average to above average, with recent official government reports suggesting that Lofa County, a surplus rice-producing zone where 2014 farming activities were hindered by the Ebola outbreak, experienced a bumper harvest this year. Due to favorable harvests, rice stocks are expected to last longer than they did last year, improving food availability at the household level.
- Agricultural wage labor and in-kind payment opportunities are likely to be available at normal levels between February and September as land preparations start for both off-season and 2016/17 main season crop cultivation. This will maintain typical income levels and purchasing power for poor households who rely on daily wages and labor exchange, and will contribute to Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity for most households between January and March 2016.
- Rubber prices on international markets, however, have been steadily falling over the past several years. Within Liberia, these declining prices have led to reduced incomes compared to normal for poor, small-scale rubber tappers. However, affected households will likely be able to expand other livelihoods activities, such as migration, to adequately cover their basic food needs in the coming months.