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Minimal acute food insecurity is expected until the next harvest in September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Liberia
  • May 2014
Minimal acute food insecurity is expected until the next harvest in September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Planting of rice and vegetables is ongoing thanks to moderate-to-good rainfall in the first dekad of May. Satellite-derived imagery indicates normal to above-normal cumulative ten-day and seasonal rainfall totals compared to the five-year average, except in the extreme west, which shows a slight deficit. This rainfall pattern supports favorable crop sowing and development.
    • Despite the onset of the southeastern counties’ April-June lean season, poor households throughout the country are still able to meet essential food and non-food needs through normal livelihood strategies and will face Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) through at least September.





    No current or projected anomalies of concern are expected in Liberia


    Projected outlook through September 2014

    The ACMED seasonal forecast of the 2014 agro-hydro-climatological characteristics for the CILSS/ECOWAS countries forecasted that cumulative rainfall will be normal to below normal in Liberia during March-June 2014. However, even some below-average rainfall is still sufficient to support plant growth due to the large amount of rains typically received in those areas. Satellite-derived imagery shows 30-day rainfall in April at moderate to high levels, with a relatively slight deficit in the extreme west (Figure 2). These favorable rainfall conditions allowed for a timely start of planting activities in May for rice and vegetables, as well as groundnuts and cowpeas in the northeast and plantains in the east. This will also contribute to the growth and development of cassava planted in March.

    Planting of upland rice and vegetables and harvesting of cassava are occurring on time, improving the availability of staple foods and providing households with normal levels of income. Also, sales of palm oil to local markets and for export to neighboring countries such as Guinea are normal and are providing households with average incomes, improving their access to food. Other typical livelihood activities, such as hunting/trapping and fishing, charcoal, and casual labor on rubber plantations are also providing households with normal levels of food and income.

    Household food stocks are seasonably low during the normal lean season currently taking place in southeastern counties. The availability of cassava and income generated from normal activities is providing access to basic food needs for households in these areas. Moreover, harvests of cowpea, vegetables, and rice during the July-September period will improve food availability and households’ good access to food and income.

    Markets remain well supplied with imported rice. Regular rice imports and the flow of local products, such as cassava and plantains, in the country are reportedly enough to cover domestic food needs through October 2014.

    According to UNCHR, the number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia has significantly declined by 20 percent from 52,786 in January to 42,026 in May, mainly due to the improvement in security conditions in western and southern Cote d'Ivoire. However, refugee numbers are likely to remain stable as most refugees engage in crop production activities during the rainy season. Refugees will also continue their engagement in petty trade, casual labor, skilled work, and hunting. Those residing in camps are less able to participate in such activities and continue to rely mostly on humanitarian assistance.

    Fairly good stocks at the household level, good cassava availability, normal income-generating activities, normal market supply of imported rice, and stable prices will enable poor households to meet essential food and non-food needs through the remaining consumption year. During this period, coping strategies will remain normal even among poor households in some southern counties such as Grand Geddeh, River Gee, Maryland, Gran Kru, and Nimba that experienced rice production deficits. As a result, poor households throughout the country are expected to experience Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity through at least September 2014.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year


    Figure 1. Satellite-estimated rainfall anomaly, April 10-May 10, 2014, compared to five-year average.

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Satellite-estimated rainfall anomaly, April 10-May 10, 2014, compared to five-year 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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