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Minimal food insecurity due to stable prices continues through September

  • Remote Monitoring Report
  • Sierra Leone
  • May 2014
Minimal food insecurity due to stable prices continues through September

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  • Key Messages
  • Projected outlook through September 2014
  • Key Messages
    • Households’ average to above-average food stocks and regular imports of rice from international market continued to allow good access to basic food in May and in turn, a normal start to the lean season in June. Adequate imports and household stocks are meeting demand, and prices are remaining stable for staple foods, as is typical for this time of year.
    • With typical income-earning activities generating normal levels of income through September, poor, market-dependent households will continue to access to basic food through market purchases. Minimal acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 1) will be expected through at least September 2014.





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


    Projected outlook through September 2014

    Cumulative rainfall is forecast by the ACMED regional seasonal forecast for Guinean countries to be normal to below normal in Sierra Leone for the March-June 2014 period. However, even some below-normal rainfall is usually sufficient to support crop growth, giving the large amounts of rainfall in Sierra Leone in a normal year. Satellite-derived imagery shows moderate cumulative 30-day rainfall across the country from April 10-May 10, 2014 (Figure 1). Rainfall conditions vary from moderate to slight deficit in the western and southern parts of the countries, but are good enough to support crops that have been planted early. These conditions are also supporting land preparation for rice and normal planting of tobacco, pepper, sweet potato, and maize.

    Current food security conditions remain good throughout the country due to average to above-average household food stocks, the ongoing harvest of dry season rice crops in lowland areas, and normal incomes derived from selling farm products, such as rice, vegetables, and cash crops. Other income-generating activities, such as sale of forest products, local labor, mining activities, fishing, petty trade, and sale of charcoal and palm oil are offering seasonal income-earning opportunities to poor households, which allow them to meet their typical food and non-food expenses.

    In addition, average harvests of lowland cassava planted in November-December are expected in June-July and will maintain poor households’ access to basic food through own production or market purchases during the lean season June-August. Households will also rely on cash cropping and the consumption of newly-harvested maize, sweet potato, and vegetables during the July-August period, when the price of rice will seasonally increase due to typically high market demand during (June-August). Therefore, household’s food availability and income levels will be maintained, allowing them to meet their food and non-food needs.

    Regular rice imports from international markets and households’ own rice stocks continue to meet market demand on markets. As a result, prices of imported rice (a key purchased staple for households) have been relatively stable in May, contributing to good access to staple foods for poor households. However, bad road access during the rainy season may limit some rural markets’ access to imported rice, which could result in slight price increases.  Yet, price increases are not expected to greatly exceed normal levels during the projection period, and will not prevent households from accessing normal amounts of food.

    A vaccination campaign is continuing in order to prevent risks of acute contamination of worms, foot rot, and skin damage by ticks on small ruminants as well as Trypanosomiasis on cattle. This is a regular, seasonal campaign conducted in Koinadugu, Bombali, Kambia, Tonkolili, and Kono districts. To date, the situation appears normal and there have been no field reports indicating pest or disease outbreaks.

     Good levels of staple food stocks, stable prices and normal sources of food and income will continue to allow access to minimum food needs for most households throughout the country. The lean season (June-August) is expected to be normal with market dependent households having normal access to staple foods with relatively stable prices. The typical households’ livelihood strategies are likely to remain in place through September with the beginning of harvests. Acute food insecurity will remain Minimal (IPC Phase 1) through at least September.


    Figures Seasonal calendar in a typical year

    Figure 1

    Seasonal calendar in a typical year


    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly,  April  10 – May 10, 2014

    Figure 2

    Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall estimate anomaly, April 10 – May 10, 2014

    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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