Thursday 13 August 2020
Home      All news      Contact us     
reliefweb - 28 days ago

Sierra Leone Revised humanitarian response Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) May–December 2020

Country: Sierra Leone Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Impact of COVID-19 on food security and agriculture Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, food access in Sierra Leone was already constrained due to inflation and the depreciation of local currency for the past three years, with below-average crop production and high dependency on imported foodstuffs. Furthermore, the effects of the 2014 2016 Ebola virus disease outbreak in the country are still felt today. There is, therefore, an urgent need to address not only health-related needs, but also the social and economic conditions of the most vulnerable populations. Following the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the country in March 2020, the Government put in place restriction measures, including lockdown, movement restrictions and market closures. In addition, the fear of contracting the virus led over 60 percent of the population to stay at home, resulting in a general economic slowdown and income losses. Below-average cereal production resulted in increased import requirements for 2020 in the context of inflation and depreciation of the exchange rate that has been continuously occurring for three years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite a timely start of the rainy season in late March, the 2020 main planting season (April July) for rice the main staple crop is being disrupted by movement restrictions, and limited access to land, inputs and agricultural labour. Significant seed shortages have been report due to market disruptions, while farmers have consumed part of the seeds meant for planting as they were struggling to access food. This is all likely to affect the outcome of the 2020 main cropping season as well as the following next season. The effects of COVID-19 on the supply chain of food and other imported commodities have exacerbated the existing trends of increased food prices in Sierra Leone. Cereal prices were already above average due to currency depreciation and high dependency on food imports. In March 2020, the majority of households were spending over most of their income on food, and since then income losses and a decline in remittances have further hampered access to food. In addition, the effects of the containment measures have affected the flow of farm produce to markets. The latest Cadre Harmonis (March 2020) projected that over 1.3 million people would face severe acute food insecurity during the lean season (June August 2020), mainly in the districts Bonthe, Kenema and M however, the analysis was carried out prior the COVID-19 pandemic and did not take into account its effects nor of the related containment measures. The situation has been exacerbated by market disruptions, mainly affecting smallholder farmers, urban slum dwellers and other vulnerable groups such as female-headed households. The main causes of food insecurity include limited access to markets and increased food prices, and subsequent adoption of negative coping mechanisms such as reduced and irregular food consumption.


Latest News
Hashtags:   

Sierra

 | 

Leone

 | 

Revised

 | 

humanitarian

 | 

response

 | 

Coronavirus

 | 

disease

 | 

COVID

 | 

May–December

 | 
Most Popular (6 hours)

Most Popular (24 hours)

Most Popular (a week)

Sources