Nigeria: UN agencies assess Ebola impact on farm production, nutrition, livelihoods

Lagos ,  Nigeria (PANA) – Preliminary results from  an impact assessments of the dreaded Ebola disease effects on people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, has showed a decrease of agricultural production, deterioration of livelihoods and poor nutrition intake, according to the UN Food And Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“Farmers are losing income, and that is reducing their access to food. In Sierra Leone, for example,70 percent of the people we interviewed said they were eating only one meal per day; instead of two to three meals as was the norm before the Ebola outbreak,” Vincent Martin, FAO’s Response Coordinator for Ebola, was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the UN agency website.

The first outcome of the assessment was done by the FAO, the World Food Programme (WFP) the three national governments where Ebola is most pronounced and other partners.

The final results, to be released early next month, will provide detailed analysis on agricultural production, prices, markets, trade and stocks situation.

“This information will help us to adapt our strategy to help farmers most in need. We need to help them rebuild their livelihoods, and to resume agricultural production as soon as possible”, the FAO official added.

Also, the assessment noted that the closure of borders due to the Ebola outbreak has negatively impacted the income of rural and urban population in affected countries as well as the bordering areas of the neighbouring countries.

The preliminary assessment results were jointly presented at a special session dedicated to the impact of the Ebola virus disease on food and nutrition security in West Africa, during the meeting of the Food Crises Prevention and Management Network (PREGEC) in Dakar, Senegal.

Representatives from all  West African countries and the Sahel attended the meeting.

Other participants included regional organizations; non-governmental organizations such as Action against Hunger, Oxfam and Save the Children, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the European Union (EU), US Agency for International Development (USAID), farmers and herders organizations.
-0-   PANA SB/AR 30Nov2014  

30 november 2014 10:42:56

xhtml CSS