Libya Food Security Sector - COVID-19 update - 10 April 2020
|Post date||Friday, 10 April, 2020 - 16:47|
|Document Type||Situation Report|
|Content Themes||Coronavirus, Food Assistance, Food Security, Food Security Cluster|
|Sources||FAO, Food Security Sector, WFP|
The Food Security Sector in Libya is expecting an increasing amount of data to become available in the coming days and weeks. WFP has initiated its mobile VAM rapid assessments in Libya and data collection is ongoing. This will complement data also being gathered by REACH on the prices of basic commodities in various areas.
As of early April 2020, the Food Security Sector has already been contacted by municipal authorities in many municipalities across Libya. The coordination will continue, and the Food Security Sector is working hard to support its partners in continuing to find funding for vital assistance that will be needed by more and more people in Libya in the coming months.
The impact of movement restrictions on labour opportunities and food access could potentially be quite severe in Libya. With people generally unable to easily move around for work, many businesses being forced to close and so reducing the demand for labour, unstable sources of income disappearing, and weak healthcare and social safety net systems, the impacts of these restrictions are likely to be far-reaching and multi-sectoral, particularly affecting food security and health.
As the vast majority of food is imported in Libya, and the global supply chains are disrupted, access to food is set to become more difficult in Libya, with price spikes of up to 900 percent already being reported in certain areas. Access to food is linked to cash, fuel, and cooking gas availability, all of which appear to be more expensive or more difficult to come by already, due to curfews, parallel market dynamics, exchange rate fluctuations, and continued liquidity issues.
Traditionally food secure families are now highly affected and are requesting assistance as the whole economy is facing a multi-dimensional impact due to COVID19, conflict escalation, lack of cash and salaries, and oil blockade.
Migrants and refugees who used to go out for daily jobs are now stuck without income nor food. Migrants are starting to knock on doors of UN agencies to cover their daily needs. Those numbers are expected to increase exponentially as the status quo continues.
Informal work, especially on farms, is a key source of income for many migrants, and access to food is a key concern for them. While COVID-19 is more likely to have a larger impact in urban and peri-urban areas, downstream processes such as transportation, marketing, and wholesaling will eventually affect farms as the crisis goes on, even though many migrants live on or close to the farms they work on.
While many of the most vulnerable are currently receiving food assistance from Food Security Sector partners, this period is going to be very challenging for many households. Through mobile monitoring (mVAM) and through regular consultations with municipalities around the country, the Food Security Sector is working hard to ensure that families do not go hungry during this time. Even though the usage of coping strategies to meet food needs will increase, regular rapid assessments and coordination will strive to support the families struggling to put food on the table. The Food Security Sector is also conducting road assessments, conflict sensitivity analyses, and working with OCHA and local authorities to enable food supplies to reach all parts of the country and continuing food distributions.