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Normal livelihoods strategies employed due to good progress of the cropping season

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Liberia
  • July 2014
Normal livelihoods strategies employed due to good progress of the cropping season

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Despite the ongoing lean season across Liberia, most poor households are currently able to meet essential food and non-food needs through normal livelihood strategies, supported by continued good progress of the cropping season. Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected through December 2014.
    • Although the seasonal forecasts have reported to be near to below average seasonal rainfall, the evolution of the agricultural season so far has not affected the functioning of markets. Currently, rice prices generally have remained relatively stable from May to June, which will help maintain typical food access for poor households through December.





    No significant anomalies of concern are present or expected to affect food security between now and December 2014.


    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    According to the regional forum on climate forecasts in West Africa, near to below average seasonal rainfall is expected from June to September 2014 in the country. Given the large amounts of rainfall received by the country, FEWS NET assumes that this will be sufficient to support plant growth. However, as of April 1-July 20, 2014, the cumulative rainfall estimates (RFE) shows moderate to high rainfall throughout the country (Figure 2). This allows the pursuit of normal seedlings in agricultural areas and pasture regeneration in the pastoral areas.

    Farm activities such as weeding and harvesting of cowpea, vegetables and cassava are ongoing, improving the availability of staple foods and providing households with normal levels of income which help maintaining their access to food. Other typical livelihood activities, including petty trade, charcoal, sales of palm oil, labor on rubber plantations are also providing households with normal levels of food and income.

    Liberia continues to be affected by the Ebola outbreak, which is also occurring in Guinea and Sierra Leone. As of July 20, 2014, the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and WHO have reported a cumulative total of 224 suspected and confirmed cases, including 127 fatalities. The areas where outbreaks have been reported stretched from Lofa County near the Sierra Leone-Guinea-Liberia border and follow main ground transportation routes through Bong, Margibi, Bomi, Montserrado Counties to the capital, Monrovia.

    Since the outbreak most likely originated with the consumption of bush meat from infected animals, many people are forgoing the hunting, trapping, trading and consumption of these animals. Hunting is widespread throughout Liberia, but areas where hunting is a major source of income (Livelihood Zone 6, which consists of select areas of Gharpolu County) is not being reported as outbreak areas. It is possible that a generalized avoidance of bush meat in major consumption markets could impact income-earning opportunities for households that rely on hunting, even if outbreaks are not reported in their areas. Nevertheless, households in those select areas of Gharpolu County attain much of the livelihood protection basket through farming, supplemented by income from hunting. It is therefore likely that acute food insecurity will be limited in this zone. In non-hunting outbreak areas, households who have lost a productive family member as a result of illness or death will face the most acute food security impacts, due to reduced income and productive activity. Food security at the district, livelihood zone, and national level should not be significantly impacted, though some households may see reductions in income as a result of reduced trade of bush meat and fewer opportunities to seek work transporting people to and from the outbreak areas.

    The number of Ivorian refugees has declined by about 28 percent since January 2014, due to ongoing improvements in security conditions in Cote d'Ivoire. According to UNCHR, as of June 30, 2014, there are still 37,727 Ivorian refugees in Liberia who continue to engage in petty trade, casual labor, skilled work, and hunting. However, those residing in refugee camps in Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Nimba, River Gee, and Montserrado are less able to participate in such activities and continue to rely mostly on humanitarian assistance. Since Liberia has closed many of its international borders to contain the spread of Ebola, the return of Ivorian refugees may be limited in the coming months.

    Regular and normal market supply of imported rice and stable prices coupled with normal livelihood strategies will enable poor households to meet essential food and non-food needs through the coming months. As a result, acute food insecurity will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least December 2014. 

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Rainfall Estimate (RFE) Anomaly, April 1–June 30 vs. 2008-2012 average

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Rainfall Estimate (RFE) Anomaly, April 1–June 30 vs. 2008-2012 average

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3


    In remote monitoring, a coordinator typically works from a nearby regional office. Relying on partners for data, the coordinator uses scenario development to conduct analysis and produce monthly reports. As less data may be available, remote monitoring reports may have less detail than those from countries with FEWS NET offices. Learn more about our work here.

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