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Early harvest supports Minimal acute food insecurity

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • August 2014
Early harvest supports Minimal acute food insecurity

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected Outlook through December 2014
  • Key Messages
    • New harvests of maize and vegetables, stable imported rice prices, and normal seasonal incomes are improving food security as the lean season comes to a close in August. 

    • The Ebola outbreak continues to be a national health concern. FEWS NET will continue to monitor the situation to identify any expected food security impacts. 

    • Most households across the country are meeting their basic food and non-food needs through normal livelihood strategies. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected from August through December 2014.

    ZONE

    CURRENT ANOMALIES

    PROJECTED ANOMALIES

    National

    • No current or projected anomalies of concern are expected in Sierra Leone

    Projected Outlook through December 2014

    The ongoing harvest of maize, millet, vegetables, and sweet potato and regular rice imports are providing markets with good food availability that meet market demand and maintain stable prices. The partial sale of these local products along with local labor contributes to maintain households’ access to income and staple foods.

    Average to above-average rainfall has continued since the beginning of April, supporting crop development, agricultural income opportunities, and the prospect of at least an average harvest in August-January (Figure 1).

    The Ebola outbreak has worsened in Sierra Leone, with 783 suspect and confirmed cases from all 12 districts as of August 11, including 334 fatalities. The worst-affected areas are Kailahun, Kenema, Kambia, Port Loko, Western Area and Freetown, with new cases reported in Tonkolili, Bambali, Moyamba, Bonthe, and Punjehun Districts.

    Households with ill or deceased members as a result of Ebola will face the most acute food security impacts, due to reduced income and productive activity. Some households may see reductions in income as a result of reduced trade of bush meat and fewer opportunities for petty trade and transportation of people to and from the outbreak areas. In Coastal and urban areas, households should be able to offset, at least to some extent, their intake of protein through the purchase and consumption of fish.

    On August 1, the heads of state for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia announced a “cordon sanitaire” to try to contain the spread of Ebola within a triangular area near where the borders of the three countries meet. Quarantined areas are said to include Kailahun and Kenema Districts in Sierra Leone, and areas north of the Liberian capital, Monrovia. FEWS NET will continue to monitor the situation to identify new announcements on quarantined areas and any potential food security impacts.

    Households’ food security conditions are progressively improving due to the newly harvested local products such as cassava, maize, millet, vegetables and sweet potato. This availability will be reinforced by the rice harvest starting in September. Normal livelihood strategies and stable prices on markets allow most households across the country to meet their basic food and non-food needs. Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity is expected from August through December 2014.

    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Source: FEWS NET

    Figure 1. Anomaly RFE – April 1-July 30, 2014, compared to the April/May 2009-2013 average.

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Anomaly RFE – April 1-July 30, 2014, compared to the April/May 2009-2013 average.

    Source: USGS/FEWS NET

    Figure 3

    Source:

    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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