Overall, the food security situation in Sierra Leone has improved since September 2015, with the proportion of the food insecure population decreasing from 49.8 percent to 43.7 percent.
Demographically, around 3.2 million Sierra Leoneans are currently estimated to be food insecure in 2018.
Similarly, at the national level, the proportion of severely food insecure households decreased from 8.6 percent in 2015 to 2.4 percent in 2018; representing 170, 210 Sierra Leoneans that are severely food insecure.
District wise, comparing 2015 CFVSA and FSMS 2018 food security situation, the analysis revealed the following decrease (moderate and severe food insecurity): Port Loko from 61.4 to 31 percent, Moyamba from 52 to 27 percent, and Western Area Rural from 41.5 to 26 percent.
However, the deterioration of food security was recorded in the following districts: Koinadugu (52 percent to 62 percent), Bonthe (53 percent to 58 percent) and Bo (37 percent to 46 percent) whilst Tonkolili district remained high at the same level (62 percent). Around 18 percent of total households were found to have poor food consumption scores whereby the consumption of a diversified diet to live a healthy life was inadequate. In addition, almost half (45.7 percent) of the total population recorded a borderline food consumption score highlighting high levels of vulnerability amongst the population in the event of a shock.
Twenty-four percent of households revealed consuming less than three food groups within a given week, implying consumption of an inadequately nutritious diet with implications for health, educational attainment and wellbeing.
Around 35 percent of households resorted to negative coping strategies such as borrowing money or spending savings and selling of productive assets when faced with depletion of food stocks. In some cases, households resorted to more extreme, emergency coping strategies such as selling land or house to survive, potentially impacting on their mid to long-term food security status.
About 20 percent of the total households spent over three-quarters of their income on food, implying that they are “very poor” in terms of monetary wealth. Such high food expenditures on food imply extremely limited funds for other essential social expenditures, including healthcare and education.