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Thursday, May 23, 2024

FOOD CRISIS: MAJOR PROBLEM FACED BY COMMUNITIES  

Date:

An opinion by Brighter Dossen 

MONROVIA – Food is a basic necessity of life and we can’t just stop eating because our country is economically challenged. Today, many homes are facing the worst hunger crisis. Last week, on behalf of my church general office I visited two communities along the VOA#1 Road in Brewerville to assess the living conditions of the people. That field visit took place from Wednesday, April 12 – Friday, April 14, 2023, in the Perry Town and Babyma Junction communities. My interaction showed that about 75% of the people living in those communities are facing serious food shortage issues now and unless some action is taken now, more homes will suffer hunger, especially single moms. We must not fail in our promise to end hunger. Almost all the households purchase food daily and their level of income is very low with about 71% earning around L$500 per month.

The nature of the crisis on hand determines the level of food insecurity existing. For example, the lack of availability and physical access to food in the market highly affects food security at the family level while in some cases, financial accessibility would be the main problem. The main problem is not that food is not in the market; it’s that people lack access to food. Many people don’t have enough money to buy basic foodstuff and cannot grow their own food due to several reasons.

Meanwhile, the number of previously internally displaced persons who settled in these communities from the civil war, who suffer from food crisis are older women and single mothers. They barely feed two or three cups of rice a day. Based on my field visit, some of these women lost their providers during the EBOLA outbreak and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, seeing food and fuel prices rise due to the supply chain issues and the failing economy brought on by forced lockdowns and closed borders. The estimate of people suffering in these local communities is more than 75%.

According to my assessment which was done by visiting homes and talking with residents, many homes have to “starve” for anywhere between one (1) to three (3) weeks in order to manage whatever little they may already have. Some community dwellers informed me that in addition to the food problem they are facing, they are also faced with a health crisis; that, is meeting their medical needs. Mr. Klee, a local resident in the community told me that he finds it difficult to feed his family every day and also meet their medical needs. He usually asks people for help to provide at least four (4) cups of rice for his five (5) children, when they can.  A female resident, Miss Okai told me she has ten (10) children and dependents. She is a single mother and she has no job. She has to go out every day to beg for food for her struggling children

The people in the local communities especially older women and single mothers are facing a serious food crisis. I hope something can be done to address it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Miss Brighter Dossen is a Graduate of the Mother Tegeste Stewart Apostolic Pentecostal High School Class 2021/2022; she’s a freshman student at the United Methodist University in Monrovia Majoring in Business Management and a Youth Intern / Advocate at the General Church Office of the Apostolic Pentecostal Church International, amongst others.

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