The impact of the current crisis in Libya on food security is a cause for serious concern both in Libya and surrounding countries due to the region's dependency on cereal imports, possible disruptions to the flow of goods and services and population displacements, the United Nation's (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on March 11.
"The ongoing crisis will likely have a significant impact on food security in Libya and in nearby crisis-affected areas. In Libya, the situation may lead to a sudden disruption of imports and the collapse of the internal distribution system. Depletion of food stocks and loss of rural manpower are all factors that in the longer-term could seriously affect food security," said Daniele Donati, chief of FAO's Emergency Operations Service.
Disruption to markets from which farmers secure seeds and fertilizers also threatens agricultural production, food security and income-generation in the short and medium term. In Libya, domestic arable production is concentrated primarily near Benghazi and near Tripoli.
As part of the UN Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis issued on March 7, FAO is planning to supply vegetable seeds in peri-urban and coastal areas with vegetable seeds in order to boost the consumption of fresh food and micronutrient intake.
FAO has applied for funds to establish an immediate capacity for effective, up-to-date information gathering, analysis and dissemination on food security needs and gaps to guide food security response options.