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


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. Markets in key urban areas across Libya are assessed on a monthly basis. In each location, field teams record prices and availability of basic food and nonfood items (NFI) sold in local shops and markets. This factsheet presents an overview of price ranges and medians for key foods and NFIs in the assessed areas. The cleaned data sets are available on the REACH Resource Centre and distributed to CMWG partners, as well as to the broader humanitarian community. In future rounds, the factsheet will include a Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), which represents the minimum culturally adjusted group of items required to support a Libyan household for one month. The prices associated with the SMEB will illustrate variations in prices across assessed locations. The SMEB will be included once it has been agreed upon by all partners and may not contain all items assessed in the previous rounds.


Data collection for the JMMI occurs on a monthly basis, with associated factsheets and datasets published and distributed after every round. The seventh round of data collection for the JMMI was conducted between 1 and 7 December 2017, during which enumerators from 5 CMWG partners (ACTED, DRC, Mercy Corps, WFP & REACH) gathered price data for 32 basic items from 257 individual shops. For the December round, no data was collected from Murzuq, while 3 new locations were added to the coverage of the JMMI (AlAziziya, Al-Marj and Sabratah), increasing the number of assessed locations to 24. 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: 

Libyan dinar kept depreciating Since November, the Libyan dinar has lost 9.1% against the US dollar on the parallel market, after already having depreciated by 4.8% in the previous month, which has created further inflationary pressures. Food items rose by 6.0% since November Following the recent increases in the parallel market exchange rates, food prices across Libya have been moving upwards. Among the assessed locations, food prices rose by 6.0% since November. In the east (+10.3%), food prices were found to have increased more than in the west (+4.4%), while food prices decreased slightly (-3.4%) in the south. Significant changes to overall food prices were reported in Tobruk (12.5%) and Zwara (+13.9%). Notable price changes since November were registered for fresh vegetables, namely tomatoes (+25.0%), onions (+20.0%) and peppers (+12.5%). These increases were likely driven by seasonal factors. Most locations furthermore saw a rise in sugar (+12.5%) and chicken meat (+9.1%) prices. Across many assessed locations, shop owners reported a shortage of lamb meat in the market. While the shortage has not affected availability of lamb meat, prices have increased by 9.9% since November. NFI prices remained stable Unlike the parallel exchange rate and food prices, NFI prices have fallen slightly since November (-0.6%). In the South, a notable decrease (-6.7%) of NFI prices was recorded. The NFI price index rose by 20.2% in Gharyan, and fell by 21.8% in Zliten. For specific NFIs, no notable price changes since November were reported. All assessed items were available in shops No availability issues were reported in December. Both food and non-food items were readily available. Shop owners generally paid suppliers in cash As in the previous month, the JMMI registered the accepted payment modalities in the assessed shops and found that non-cash payment modalities remain rarely used in the Libyan context (see chart on page 2: Accepted Payment Modalities in Assessed Shops). In addition, shop owners were questioned about payment modalities used to pay their respective suppliers. All respondents reported that they used cash, while only 11.9% handle their payments with cheques, and 7.1% with bank transfers.

Assessment Report: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Data: 
Publicly Available
Assessment Date(s): 
01 Dec 2017 to 07 Dec 2017
Report completed
Population Type(s): 
All affected population
Leading/Coordinating Organization(s): 
REACH Initiative
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Participating Organization(s): 
Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED)
Danish Refugee Council
Mercy Corps
World Food Programme
Cash Transfer Programming
Market Assessment