Liberia mobile text campaign finds Ebola behind food price hikes

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With borders closed and travel restricted, small holder farmers, mostly women, are hard put to get to community markets to sell their produce. UNDP/Morgana Wingard

The World Food Programme (WFP) says that the Ebola outbreak has bumped up food prices and forced families to cope by eating fewer meals and smaller portions.

Agency spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs announced the findings from the agency's latest text message campaign in Liberia which aimed to assess food security there.

The WFP's findings show that the price of popular foods such as rice has risen, while there is widespread food insecurity in the three West African countries affected by the virus: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"Mobile data collection is quick, and also it's an advantage in a fast-breaking crisis such as the Ebola outbreak….The households are affected by food insecurity because of the Ebola outbreak.”

The UN agency has already helped 1.3 million people affected by Ebola.

Ms Byrs also said that a new humanitarian flight from the UN depot in Brindisi, Italy, was en route to Conakry in Guinea carrying 58 tonnes of essential humanitarian supplies worth 412,000 dollars.

The cargo includes pre-fabricated structures for use by other UN agencies, tents and generators.

Similar humanitarian flights have already taken place to Liberia and Sierra Leone in recent weeks.

Stephanie Castro, United Nations.

Duration:  1’24″

 

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