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-Affects 16 Percent Of Liberia`s Population; WFP 2015 Emergency Food Assessment Report Shows
Contrary to the fight to make the world arrive at zero hunger by 2020, about 16 percent of Liberian families risk food insecurity in the country.

Image result for WFP 2015 Emergency Food ALiberia, on the Atlantic coast of Africa with fertile and productive land, is classified as a least developed, low-income, food-deficit country which ranks 177 out of 188 countries in the 2015 Human Development Index. Since the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement it has been recovering from a 14-year civil war that destroyed national infrastructure and basic social services.

With this political stalemate (National Elections Commission versus Liberty Party) wherein voters are worrying over regime change as the electoral body and a third placer are in the midst of legal contestation, both political and economic pundits hold the view that with surge in the rate of foreign exchange, coupled with uncertainties on investments, especially the importation of the country`s staple because of unfolding political events, it is highly likely that as the prices of rice and diesel fuel continue to climb unabated, making transportation unaffordable, the number of families that are being affected by current food insecurity is expected to tripled by March 2018.

In separate comments, a number of civil society actors in the country have identified factors that posit corresponding effects to the attainment of zero hunger by 2020 as enshrined in the United Nations` Sustainable Development Goal of which the government of Liberia ascribes to.
The twin-shocks that hit the country during the height of the outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) nearly brought the country to its knees. The World Food Program 2015 emergency food assessment report following the cessation of the EVD that the local economy was gravely affected by the sharp decline in the prize of country`s prime exports, rubber and iron ore.

“The outbreak of the EVD in March 2014 claimed 4,800 lives in just over a year and highlighted Liberia's fragility. Although Liberia was declared Ebola-free in January 2016, the crisis had a severe impact on the country’s economy. Economic growth for 2014 fell from a projected 5.9 percent to between 0.7 and 0.9 percent and the cumulative loss of output was equivalent to 7.7 percent of the gross domestic product,” the WFP 2015 emergency food assessment report indicated.

According to the WFP report then, poverty and food insecurity remained high across the country and are particularly acute in Liberia’s rural areas where 51 percent of the population lives. Some 83.8 percent of the population lives on less than US$1.25 a day.
The emergency food assessment report further revealed at the time that of the 4.5 million people in the country, 83 percent lives on less than US$1.25 a day, a situation that arguably remains visible in the rural areas and is even portrayed in urban lifestyles with increasing urban poor, though there are claims that the government has achieved a number of things.
The 2015 emergency food security assessment found that food insecurity affected 16 percent of households, including 2 percent that are severely food insecure. “For one fourth of Liberian families, food accounts for more than 65 percent of their total expenditures. Some 18 percent of households were found to be using emergency coping strategies (mostly begging) to meet their food needs.”
The report then, also pointed out that among the major underlying causes of poverty and food insecurity in Liberia is the low level of access to education, with official statistics showing only 26.7 percent of children were enrolled in school in 2014. “The 2014-15 Ebola outbreak had a devastating effect on Liberia’s children: schools had to stay closed for most of the year to curb the spread of the disease.”
“The country is heavily dependent on foreign aid and investment. Income from exports, mainly of natural resources, is not currently sufficient to support the population’s development needs. Agriculture is focused mainly on the cultivation of food crops and export commodities. Livestock farming is small-scale, poorly resourced, and unable to meet local demand for meat. Some 80 percent of the population depends on fish for protein. Management and harvesting of marine sources, however, are now threatened by rising sea levels and coastal flooding due to climate change.”
As of December 2015, Liberia hosted almost 39,000 refugees, primarily Ivorians who fled their country during the 2010 post-electoral crisis. Those who live in camps are especially food insecure and vulnerable to food price fluctuations. In December 2015 UNHCR began a voluntary repatriation exercise after Côte d’Ivoire reopened its borders. As of mid-February 2016, approximately 6,000 refugees had been repatriated.
In Liberia, the World Food Programme (WFP) aims to provide safety nets to strengthen food and nutrition security through school feeding and social protection measures, and to strengthen Liberia’s capacity to own and implement hunger solutions.
With the political stalemate, Liberia's president said Wednesday that "our democracy is under assault" as the runoff election to replace her is delayed indefinitely by a court after allegations of voting fraud.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, expressed her frustration in a radio address played repeatedly. It was her first public statement since the Supreme Court's decision on Monday ordering that the November 7 runoff vote be postponed.
The Supreme Court ordered the National Elections Commission to investigate the complaint about the October vote lodged by the Liberty Party, whose candidate Charles Brumskine came third in the race.
In President Sirleaf address, she said democracy is only as strong as it weakest link and at these moments, "our democracy is under assault, our country's reputation is under assault, our economy is under stress."

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