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Vanuatu Risks Long-Term Food Insecurity After Monster Cyclone: U.N.

      

Many families affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam are forced to prepare their meals outdoors as seen here in Vanuatu. Photo: WFP/Victoria Cavanagh

reuters.com - by Alisa Tang - March 30, 2015

BANGKOK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The monster cyclone that hit Vanuatu earlier this month wiped out more than 90 percent of the archipelago's crops, putting its people at risk of a secondary emergency and long-term food insecurity, the United Nations warned on Monday.

Tropical Cyclone Pam destroyed homes, electricity infrastructure and crops when it swept across the South Pacific island nation on March 13, leaving at least 11 dead.

The United Nations issued an appeal last week for $29.9 million to provide an estimated 166,000 affected people with safe drinking water and shelter, but said only $6.4 million had been pledged.

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Cadre Harmonisé for Identification of Areas and Populations in Food Insecurity in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

fao.org - March 2015

CLICK HERE - Cadre Harmonisé for Identification of Areas and Populations in Food Insecurity in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (5 page .PDF file)

Overview

In March 2014, the first Ebola virus disease (EVD) case was confirmed in Guinea and quickly spread to the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. In September, the EVD outbreak was declared a global emergency by the UN assembly and national governments in the region, resulting in the implementation of measures to contain the outbreak including border and market closures, road blocks and quarantines. The measures and behaviours related to the outbreak directly disrupted many economic activities leading to major economic losses in almost all sectors.

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Estimating Food Consumption and Poverty Indices with Mobile Phone Data

submitted by George Hurlburt

arxiv.org - November 22, 2014
Adeline Decuyper, Alex Rutherford, Amit Wadhwa, Jean-Martin Bauer, Gautier Krings, Thoralf Gutierrez, Vincent D. Blondel, Miguel A. Luengo-Oroz
arXiv:1412.2595 [cs.CY]

Recent studies have shown the value of mobile phone data to tackle problems related to economic development and humanitarian action. In this research, we assess the suitability of indicators derived from mobile phone data as a proxy for food security indicators. We compare the measures extracted from call detail records and airtime credit purchases to the results of a nationwide household survey conducted at the same time. Results show high correlations (> .8) between mobile phone data derived indicators and several relevant food security variables such as expenditure on food or vegetable consumption. This correspondence suggests that, in the future, proxies derived from mobile phone data could be used to provide valuable up-to-date operational information on food security throughout low and middle income countries.

CLICK HERE - RESEARCH - Estimating Food Consumption and Poverty Indices with Mobile Phone Data

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Street Protests Loom as Shortages, Inflation and Oil Slump Hit Venezuela

       

Students block a street as they clash with national guards during a protest against the government in San Cristóbal on Wednesday. Photograph: Reuters

As President Nicolás Maduro tours the world in search of financing, the most conciliatory opposition leader says the time has come to mobilise on the streets

theguardian.com - by Sibylla Brodzinski - January 16, 2015

Even Venezuela’s most conciliatory opposition leader has had enough.

Amid sky-high inflation, an absent president, snaking queues outside supermarkets, and plummeting oil prices, Henrique Capriles said this week that the time was ripe to try to force a change.

“We are in a state of emergency,” he said on Monday. “This is the time to mobilise in the streets.”

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Ebola Cases Drop as Food Crisis is Sparked

         

Many agricultural fields have been abandoned as people retreat from Ebola. Image via World Bank.

zmescience.com - by Livia Rusu - January 15, 2015

The World Health Organization reports a drop in the Ebola cases in the three Western African countries hit most by the disease. However, as farmers abandon their fields in the infected areas, a new problem seems to emerge: a food crisis. . .

. . . The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), a UN body that finances agriculture in poor countries has warned that if quick action isn’t taken soon, a food crisis is set to take place in the area.

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Food Security

submitted by Gary Vroegindewey - September 24, 2014
Mike,
WFP has increased food availability
http://www.wfp.org/news/news-release/international-financial-institutions-provide-us217-million-help-meet-food-needs-eb
http://www.wfp.org/countries/sierra-leone/stories/wfp-steps-up-assistance-to-meet-urgent-food-needs-of-families-and-communities-affected-by-ebola
Global Food Security Index will provide baseline Sierra Leone as an example.
http://foodsecurityindex.eiu.com/Country/Details#Sierra%20Leone
Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS)
tracks marketing prices and other indicators of food insecurity Sierra Leone as an example
http://www.fews.net/west-africa/sierra-leone/remote-monitoring-report/september-2014

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Ebola Spurs A Full Public Lockdown In Sierra Leone

Hoping to stop a virus that has killed hundreds of its citizens, Sierra Leone will institute a temporary lockdown this month. This photo from August shows people walking in Kenema, in a part of Sierra Leone that's been hit hard by the outbreak. Carl De Souza/AFP/Getty Imagesby Bill Chappell - Sep 06, 2014 8:57 AM ET - NPR

Sierra Leone will impose a three-day lockdown on all its citizens, as part of a plan to "deal with Ebola once and for all," the government says. The move is an effort to stop the disease that has killed over 2,000 people in five West African countries, according to World Health Organization data.

But the lockdown's effectiveness will depend on citizens buying in to the government's plan. From Nairobi, NPR's Gregory Warner reports:

"From Sept. 19 to 21, the people of Sierra Leone will have to remain in their homes so health workers can isolate new Ebola cases and prevent the disease from spreading. But the lockdown will have to be mostly voluntary. Sierra Leone does not have the police or military capacity to enforce it on 6 million citizens.

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WEST AFRICA: EBOLA OUTBREAK PUTS HARVESTS AT RISK, SENDS FOOD PRICES SHOOTING UP

Source: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/221531226/west-africa-ebola-outbreak-puts-harvests-at-risk-sends-food-prices-shooting-up

2 September 2014, Rome - Disruptions in food trade and marketing in the three West African countries most affected by Ebola have made food increasingly expensive and hard to come by, while labor shortages are putting the upcoming harvest season at serious risk, FAO warned today.

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Ebola Threatens Food Security in West Africa - FAO

      

An empty street market in Monrovia's West Point district, 20 August 2014.

* Labour shortages expected to hit main harvest season

* Cassava prices in Monrovia rose by 150 pct in August

* FAO needs $20 million for response plan

fao.org - af.reuters.com -

ROME/DAKAR, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The world's worst Ebola epidemic has endangered harvests and sent food prices soaring in West Africa, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said on Tuesday, warning the problem would intensify in coming months.

by Isla Binnie and Emma Farge - September 2, 2014

The FAO issued a special alert for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, the three countries most affected by the outbreak, which has killed at least 1,550 people since the virus was detected in the remote jungles of southeastern Guinea in March.

Restrictions on people's movements and the establishment of quarantine zones to contain the spread of the hemorrhagic fever have led to panic buying, food shortages and price hikes in countries ill-prepared to absorb the shock.

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Grain Harvest Fact Sheet

Rice grains.

Image: Rice grains.

earth-policy.org - August 19th, 2014

With grain providing much of the calories that sustain humanity, the status of the world grain harvest is a good indicator of the adequacy of the food supply.

More than 2 billion tons of grain are produced each year worldwide, nearly half of it in just three countries: China, the United States, and India.

Corn, wheat, and rice account for most of the world’s grain harvest.

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