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Conflict, political instability and insecurity have fuelled the crisis in Libya, impacting individuals and families as well as the country's economy and institutions. Resulting waves of displacement and the protracted nature of the situation has affected the ability of households to withstand additional impacts, while the erosion of purchasing power and market linkages have made opportunities to improve resilience and recover from the conflict increasingly scarce.
As the conflict continues to result in displacement and as the ongoing economic crisis contributes to rising food prices, food security will remain a top priority. Although the average food consumption patterns of households remains relatively high, low levels of coping capacity suggest that the current situation will deteriorate. Involvement in agriculture will continue to play a vital role in contributing to food security as households face increasing difficulties.
Previous qualitative assessments have shown that the crisis has exacerbated pre-existing challenges associated with agricultural production in Libya, including water scarcity, animal and plant diseases, desertification and labour shortages. In addition to these longer-term challenges, the crisis has ruptured market linkages and disrupted access to water, electricity, inputs, and transportation.
Crop and livestock production are a significant source of food security for many Libyan households, which tend to be small producers. Along these lines, one key finding of this assessment is that despite agriculture's relatively small contribution to Libya's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) � less than 3 percent in 2011 � the proportion of Libyans engaged in some form of agricultural production is comparatively large (22 percent). In spite of this, participation in agriculture may have been considerably higher before the crisis, however, with approximately 7.5 percent of the population abandoning agricultural activities since 2014.
Source: Food and Agricultural Organizations of the United Nations