WFP calls for action to avoid another year of record food insecurity in Liberia
The world is at risk of yet another year of record hunger as the global food crisis continues to drive yet more people into worsening levels of acute food insecurity, warns the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in a call for urgent action to address the root causes of today’s crisis, on the heels of World Food Day, 16 October.
“We are facing an unprecedented global food crisis and all signs suggest we have not yet seen the worst. For the last three years, hunger numbers have repeatedly hit new peaks. Let me be clear: things can and will get worse unless there is a large-scale and coordinated effort to address the root causes of this crisis. We cannot have another year of record hunger,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley.
The global food crisis is a confluence of a cocktail of crises – caused by climate shocks, conflict, covid and increasing costs – that has continued to push up the number of severely food-insecure people all around the world, including in Liberia where 47% of households (approximately 2.2 million people) are food insecure, more than double the result four years ago, according to the latest government-led food security analysis released in September 2022. The highest levels of food insecurity were reported in Sinoe (67%), Lofa (67%), Maryland (65%), Grand Cape Mount (65%), and Bong (64%) counties. An estimated 8% of households are severely food insecure and at risk of very high acute malnutrition and need urgent attention. Moreover, urban populations are becoming increasingly food insecure (45%).
Building on this year’s global theme for World Food Day – “No one left behind” – WFP is calling for coordinated effort across governments, financial institutions (IFIs), the private sector, and partners to mitigate an even more severe food crisis in 2023. This includes reinforcing national economies, strengthening national food systems, addressing the multi-dimensional risks to such systems through coordinated efforts to reduce import dependency, reinforcing social protection systems and reducing post-harvest losses.
“We have been working hard to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups amidst a challenging operational environment,” said Aliou Diongue, Representative and Country Director for WFP Liberia. “Partnership with the Government and development partners is key to understanding the food security situation across the country and coming up with strategies to address the root causes of food insecurity
in Liberia including developing locally adapted, sustainable food and agriculture systems that are resilient to shocks and stressors,” he added.
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Agriculture, in collaboration with WFP ad FAO will observe World Food Day 2022 in Liberia under the theme “safe food today for a healthy tomorrow.” The theme implies that producing and consuming safe food can have direct and long-term benefits for people, the planet and the economy. A Media Day event on 26 October 2022 will initiate a series of activities including a two-day exhibition of agricultural produce, innovations and technologies alongside a national conversation on the rice value chain -opportunities and challenges toward self-sufficiency.
While these efforts provide succour to some of the severely vulnerable, it is against a challenging global backdrop in which the number of acutely hungry people continues to increase requiring concerted global action for peace, economic stability and continued humanitarian support to ensure food security around the world.