FAO in the 2019 humanitarian appeal: Libya - Humanitarian Response Plan 2019
298 000 people
USD 3 million
January – December 2019
Increased engagement in agriculture can play a vital role in supporting resilience, allowing households to better adapt to future shocks.
Conflict, political instability and insecurity have fuelled the protracted crisis in Libya, impacting individuals and families as well as the country’s economy and institutions. Resulting waves of displacement have further affected households’ ability to withstand additional shocks, while diminished purchasing power and disrupted markets have made resilience and recovery increasingly difficult.
FAO is working with partners in the Food Security Cluster to:
• Protect the agricultural and livestock-related livelihoods of crisis-affected populations.
• Build resilience against current and future shocks.
• Increase cash-based transfers where local markets are functional and food is available.
Impact on food security
Food insecurity in Libya is driven primarily by the ongoing economic crisis in the country. As most vulnerable households depend on local markets, they are highly susceptible to rising food prices: while they may actually have an acceptable level of food consumption, they are doing so by sacrificing their future productivity or capacity to cope. For example, many are using their savings and/or reducing their spending on health and education in order to feed themselves and their families. Conflict continues to lead to displacement and rising food prices, as well as obstructing farming practices by limiting water supplies and increasing animal and plant pests and diseases, desertification and labour shortages. As households face increasing difficulties, agriculture will continue to play a vital role in contributing to food security. Crop and livestock production are a significant source of income generation and personal consumption for many, especially small-scale producers. There is ample scope to expand this engagement: while 22 percent of households are currently working in agricultural activity of some kind, a further 28 percent reported that they had access to land or water to engage in crop or livestock production or fishing, particularly in urban, peri-urban, and coastal areas.
However, nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of those households currently active in agricultural production report challenges associated with the crisis. Crop challenges include power cuts, increased insecurity, and the inability to afford inputs, while livestock producers face a lack of veterinary services and supplies, difficulties feeding their herds, and report having had to consume their own livestock to meet their food needs. Expanding engagement in the agriculture sector will be key to increasing food security in Libya, by promoting conflict-resilient, climate-sensitive production while facilitating farmers’ access to high-quality inputs and support, such as vaccines, capacity building and cash-based transfers.