While the Ebola crisis has lessened and moved out of the news cycle, a related crisis remains and appears to be growing: food insecurity in the affected regions. Efforts to halt the spread of the virus also curtailed trade, and food production dropped off.
Community resilience and coordinated aid efforts have mitigated some of the effects, but this may only prove true in the short-term. The number of food-insecure people in the Ebola-affected countries is rapidly increasing. Recent estimates by the World Food Programme (WFP) suggest that the number of food-insecure people could reach 3 million by March, with nearly half of those due to the effects of Ebola.
“We need to acknowledge the means by which people have managed to get by throughout this outbreak, and to complement them with measures that improve supply and demand. The first task must be to ensure that food is available in remote areas and those that were quarantined. Action is needed to help families and farmers to grow and harvest food. Reinvigorating trading and commerce must also be prioritised by guaranteeing traders a demand for their products.”