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Food security alert issued for Liberia

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has issued a food security alert concerning Liberia, indicating high risks of food insecurity during the upcoming months of May and August.

Part of this urgent increase in food insecurity is the flood of refugees into Liberia from the Ivory Coast, otherwise known as Cote d'Ivoire.

"Following renewed factional fighting in Côte d'Ivoire since February 24th, the number of Ivorian refugees in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee, and Maryland counties of northern and eastern Liberia has increased from 40,000 in mid-February to about 117,000 in March," says the report.

Liberia itself has a population of about 3.7 million, as estimated by the CIA World Factbook. The median age in the country is only 18.3 years, compared to the median age of the U.S., which is 36.9 years.

The increasing number of refugees is straining the food resources of Liberian host families. The area of Nimba is housing about 80 to 90 percent of the Ivorian refugees, the total number of which is difficult to determine as crossing overs are frequent between the two countries' borders.
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