Key data for Liberia

NCI34th HRCI32nd HANCI34th
HANCI-Africa compares 45 African countries for their performance on 22 indicators of political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. All the countries compared in the index have high rates of hunger and undernutrition. The comparative approach of the index means that country scores are calculated in relation to the political commitment of the other countries in the index.
Existing rates of: Stunting: 30.1% Wasting: 4.3% Proportion of population underweight: 4.3% Source: Government of Liberia (SMART,2016)

Strong Performance

  • The Government encourages varied agricultural research and extension services, and local farmer organisations are involved in setting policy priorities. The extension system is effective and properly reaches out to poor farmers. Government policies, strategies and mechanisms seek to ensure gender equity in access to extension services.
  • Relative to other HANCI countries, Liberia’s medium/long term national development policy (Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development ) assigns strong importance to nutrition.
  • Liberia has devised a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy.
  • Policymakers in Liberia benefit from regular nutrition surveys that are statistically representative at national level. The last survey was published in 2019.
  • The Government of Liberia promotes complementary feeding practices.
  • In Liberia 95.9% of women aged 15-49 were visited at least once during pregnancy by skilled health personnel in 2013.
  • In Liberia, constitutional protection of the right to social security is strong.

Areas for improvement

  • Spending on agriculture (1.2% of public spending in 2019), does not meet government commitments set out in the African Union’s Maputo Declaration (10% of public spending).
  • Liberia’s spending in its health sector (4.2% of public spending in 2017) does not fully meet (15%) commitments set out in the Abuja Declaration.
  • In Liberia, the law gives women and men equal economic rights and equal legal access to agricultural land. However, these laws are not effectively enforced and discriminatory practices against women continue, increasing their vulnerability to hunger and undernutrition.
  • Even though Liberia has developed a National Nutrition Policy/Strategy and clear time-bound nutrition targets, a multisectoral and multistakeholder policy coordination mechanism is still lacking.
  • The Government of Liberia has not enshrined the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into domestic law.
  • The Government of Liberia has achieved two high doses of vitamin A supplementation for only 62% of children in 2018.
  • Weak access to improved sanitation facilities (17% in 2017) obstructs better hunger and nutrition outcomes.
  • In Liberia, constitutional protection of the right to food is weak.
  • Social safety nets in Liberia are basic and only cover few risks for a limited number of beneficiaries.

Hunger Reduction Commitment Index (HRCI)

Public Spending Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Public spending on agriculture as share of total public spending
Public spending on health as share of total public spending
Policies Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Access to land (security of tenure)
Moderate2019Joint 27th
Access to agricultural research and extension services
Strong2019Joint 6th
Civil registration system — coverage of live births
24.6%2013Joint 40th
Functioning of social protection systems
Weak2018Joint 25th
Laws Score Year HRCI rank of 45
Level of constitutional protection of the right to food
Weak2019Joint 29th
Equality of women’s access to agricultural land
In Law, not in Practice2019Joint 27th
Equality of women’s economic rights
In Law, not in Practice2019Joint 3rd
Constitutional right to social security
Yes2006Joint 1st

Nutrition Commitment Index (NCI)

Public Spending Score Year NCI rank of 45
Separate budget for nutrition
Sectoral only2019Joint 16th
Policies Score Year NCI rank of 45
Vitamin A supplementation coverage for children
62%2018Joint 25th
Government promotes complementary feeding
Yes2011Joint 1st
Population with access to an improved water source
Population with access to improved sanitation
Health care visits for pregnant women
Nutrition features in national development policy
National Nutrition Policy/Strategy
Yes2019Joint 1st
Multisector and multistakeholder policy coordination
No2019Joint 36th
Time bound nutrition targets
Yes2019Joint 1st
National nutrition survey in last 3 years
Yes2019Joint 1st
Laws Score Year NCI rank of 45
Enshrine ICBMS in domestic law
Not Enshrined in Law2019Joint 33rd