Remote Monitoring Report

Minimal food insecurity expected through at least next April

November 2012

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Would likely be at least one phase worse without current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET classification is IPC-compatible. IPC-compatible analysis follows key IPC protocols but does not necessarily reflect the consensus of national food security partners.
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

IPC 2.0 Acute Food Insecurity Phase

Presence countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3: Crisis
4: Emergency
5: Famine
Remote monitoring
countries:
1: Minimal
2: Stressed
3+: Crisis or higher
Would likely be at least one phase worse without
current or programmed humanitarian assistance
FEWS NET Remote Monitoring countries use a colored outline to represent the highest IPC classification in areas of concern.

Key Messages

  • Rice production for 2012/13 is expected to meet approximately 36 percent of the country's consumption needs, and imports will be sufficient to make up the gap. As a result, rice prices will remain at normal levels. 

  • As of November 2012, UNHCR reports that approximately 37,242 Ivoirian refugees are still in camps in Liberia. This population size has been relatively stable since July, and these refugees will remain partially dependent on food assistance while in the country.

  • This season's good harvests, coupled with normal livelihood strategies, will enable households to meet essential food and non-food needs. Households are expected to be food secure (IPC Phase 1) through at least March 2013.

ZONE

CURRENT ANOMALIES

PROJECTED ANOMALIES

National

  • Civil insecurity uncertainties in Cote d’Ivoire continue to slow voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees to their home country. Refugees living in camps are partially dependant on food aid.
  • Refugees will likely remain in Liberia through at least next April and will continue to be partially dependent on food aid.

Pleebo and Voinjama

  • Poor road conditions during the rainy season have led to gasoline shortages and sharp monthly gasoline price increases (90 percent in Pleebo and 44 percent in Voinjama).
  • As the rainy season ends, gasoline prices are expected to drop and no longer be an anomaly.

Projected Outlook through March 2013

In the southeastern counties of Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Maryland, the harvest of upland rice is complete. In other counties, upland and lowland rice harvests are in progress and will continue through December/January. Harvests have replenished food stocks and have lowered household dependency on market food purchases. The ongoing harvests of vegetables, rice, plantain, and other tubers continue to improve household food access and incomes. Food stocks from this season's harvests are expected to last a normal, five months.

The joint CILSS/FAO/FEWS NET/WFP/Government pre-harvest assessment conducted in late September estimated the 2012/13 paddy rice production at 298,178 MT. This is a 2.6 percent increase as compared to last year and 2.9 percent increase as compared to the four-year average. Cassava production is estimated at 512,200 MT, which is 4.7 percent higher than last year and 3.8 percent above the four-year average. National rice production will account for about 36 percent of Liberia's total population needs during the 2012/13 consumption year, which is relatively normal. The food gap will be filled by rice imports, which is expected to be sufficient to meet local demand through next April.

Except in Lofa and parts of Bong counties, which are the major rice producing areas of the country, markets remain well supplied with imported rice. However, reduced demand for imported rice due to current harvests is causing prices to decline compared to September at most markets. It is expected that more local milled rice will reach markets near the end of December when farmers sell parts of their production to earn income and to meet other needs during the Christmas celebration. In general, imported rice prices in November have remained 5-36 percent higher than 2011 prices. This is partly due to China’s restrictions on rice exports in 2011, which resulted in a consumption shift over the year from predominantly Chinese butter rice to mainly parboiled rice imported from Vietnam, Brazil, Thailand, India, Pakistan, USA, and Uruguay. Due to the current harvests, prices are expected to decline through December/January and then remain stable from January through March/April.

Gasoline prices increased slightly (1-12 percent) from September to October. However, sharp price increases of 44 percent and 90 percent have been noted in Voinjama and Pleebo, where seasonal poor road conditions have led to gasoline shortages. So far, this has not translated into increased food prices. In addition, gasoline prices will likely drop once the rains stop and road conditions improve.  

The Ivorian refugee population in camps has evolved from 36,188 in November 2011 to 37,242 in November 2012. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the total Ivorian refugee population, including those not living in camps, is 65,647. Voluntary repatriation has been weak since last July-August due to remaining civil insecurity in Cote d’Ivoire. By engaging locally in crop production, agricultural labor, petty trade, mining and transportation services, many refugees are improving their food security conditions. Refugees in camps will remain at least partially dependent on food assistance while in the country. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that its food assistance pipeline is sufficient to meet the needs of refugees and host communities until next May. Market functioning and agricultural production in areas hosting refugees are near average levels, and pressure on host communities is likely to be less in 2012/13 than in 2011/12.

In general, household incomes remain average to good due to forestry product sales (ex. charcoal, wood, wild fruits, mushrooms, bush meat), farm product sales (ex. cassava, cowpea, and plantain), and by engaging in normal levels of casual labor (ex. agricultural labor, mining). This has enabled poor, market dependant households to meet essential food and non-food needs. In addition, households will continue to have access to food, due to the good harvests, through the first quarter of 2013. Minimal food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) is expected through at least March 2013.

About Remote Monitoring

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.

About FEWS NET

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network is a leading provider of early warning and analysis on food insecurity. Created by USAID in 1985 to help decision-makers plan for humanitarian crises, FEWS NET provides evidence-based analysis on approximately 30 countries. Implementing team members include NASA, NOAA, USDA, USGS, and CHC-UCSB, along with Chemonics International Inc. and Kimetrica.
Learn more About Us.

Link to United States Agency for International Development (USAID)Link to the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) FEWS NET Data PortalLink to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Link to National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Earth ObservatoryLink to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Weather Service, Climage Prediction CenterLink to the Climate Hazards Center - UC Santa BarbaraLink to KimetricaLink to Chemonics