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Libya Cash & Markets WG - Libya Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) - October 2017 Factsheet

Subject/Objective: 
In an effort to better understand market dynamics in Libya, the Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) was initiated by the Libya Cash & Markets Working Group (CMWG) in June 2017. The initiative is guided by the CMWG Markets Taskforce, led by REACH and supported by the CMWG members.
Methodology: 
Data collection for the JMMI occurs on a monthly basis, with associated factsheets and datasets published and distributed after every round. The fifth round of data collection for the JMMI was conducted between 1 and 8 October 2017, during which enumerators from 5 CMWG partners (ACTED, DRC, Mercy Corps, WFP & REACH) gathered price data for 32 basic items from 255 individual shops. For the October round, 11 new locations were added to the coverage, increasing the number of assessed cities to 21. Field staff familiar with the local market conditions identified shops representative of the general price level in their respective location. Assessed shops include supermarkets, bakeries, vegetable sellers and butchers, as well as central markets. At least four prices per assessed item were collected within each location. In line with the purpose of the JMMI, only the price of the cheapest available brand was recorded for each item. Enumerators were trained on methodology and tools by REACH. Data collection was conducted through the KoBo mobile application. Following data collection, REACH compiled and cleaned all partner data, normalising prices and cross-checking outliers.
Key findings: 
Food items The newly added locations of Algatroun, Murzuq and Ubari in the south were found to have the highest food prices overall. Prices in those locations exceeded levels in Derna, which had previously been the most expensive location before the coverage expansion as a result of the city’s military encirclement. The relatively high prices in the south are likely driven by the remoteness of the area and challenging transportation routes. Further research needs to be conducted to determine why Murzuq and Algatroun, a city with significant smuggling activity, are found to have such high prices, even relative to other locations in the Fezzan. Significant median price changes compared to September were found for sugar (+10.7%), couscous (+10.1%), baby milk (+24.6%) and peppers (+29.2%). Price increases for those items were reported in nearly all locations with reference data from September. Food prices have continuously increased over the past months (see graph in the appendix). Since June 2017, food prices have risen by 10.7% on average across locations with available reference data. NFIs The most expensive location in terms of NFIs was Algatroun, followed by Ubari and Tobruk. The volatile NFI prices have significantly risen in Zliten since September (+49.9%). Even though NFI prices have generally been fluctuating heavily over the past months, no notable change in the average NFI price index has been registered (+0.4%) since June 2017. Tripoli In Tripoli, the JMMI covers four baladiyet3 to test for variance within the city, namely Tripoli Centre, Abusliem, Hai Alandalus and Suq Aljumaa. While the food and NFI prices were generally found to be fairly similar across baladiyet, Hai Andalus reported the highest median prices and Abusliem, which hosts large numbers of IDPs, the lowest. Shortages In Ubari, dishwashing liquid was not available. There were no reported shortages in any of the other locations. In Derna, wheat flour was available again after shops had run out in September. Exchange Rates The Libyan dinar has slightly depreciated against foreign currencies since September. After previously having been in a downward spiral, the Libyan dinar has remained fairly stable on the parallel market over the past 6 months.
Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Contact(s): 
Charlie Rapoport
rapop@unhcr.org
Webspace(s): 
Assessment Date(s): 
01 Oct 2017 to 08 Oct 2017
Frequency: 
Monthly
Status: 
Report completed
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Cluster(s)/Sector(s): 
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
REACH Initiative
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Participating Organization(s): 
Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
Danish Refugee Council
Mercy Corps
World Food Programme
Location(s): 
Libya
Theme(s): 
Cash Transfer Programming
Market Assessment