Côte d'Ivoire

WFP Côte d'Ivoire Country Brief, March 2020

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In Numbers

234 mt of food assistance distributed

US$ 0 cash-based transfers made

US$ 3.4 m six months (April 2020 – September 2020) net funding requirements

121,771 people assisted in March 2020

Operational Updates

• In March, nutritious hot school lunches were provided to 121,771 primary schoolchildren in seven priority regions in the country, to contribute to improving their educational achievements and nutrition. However, school canteens were only operational between 9 and 12 days on average, before their closure on 16 March, due to the government measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. As school lunches provide vital support for low-income families and represent the main meal of the day for some schoolchildren, WFP is assessing the possibility to provide take-home rations, when and where possible, as social safety nets to the most vulnerable households until school canteens re-open.

• Under the Small Agriculture and Market Support (SAMS) project, which aims to contribute to improved food and nutrition security and incomes of 48 rural smallholder farmer groups in rural northern and western Cote d’Ivoire, the harvesting phase of offseason crops is still ongoing, given the low count of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the rural farming communities. Nevertheless, WFP has partnered with UNICEF and local authorities to sensitize smallholder women farmers on health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, the women farmer groups are able to continue their farming. With the scale-up of the SAMS activity to include more women farmer groups, a total of 335 mt of food has been produced so far this year, compared to 250 mt in 2019. Part of the food produced will be donated to the school feeding programme (either inkind or cash), another part will be divided and consumed by the women and their families to contribute to household food security, and the third part will be sold and reinvested in the project for sustainability.

• The activities under the food assistance for assets programme (FFA), providing livelihoods and resilience strengthening support to Ivorian returnees and vulnerable host communities ended in December 2019.
Nevertheless, 15 out of 17 smallholder farmer groups assisted are continuing agricultural activities independently. Strong level engagement of the beneficiaries and the local communities has contributed to ensuring the sustainability of these livelihood activities supported by WFP since 2013.

• The Government of Cote d’Ivoire has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. An emergency health response plan of XOF 96 billion aims to reinforce the detection and treatment of the disease.
Additionally, an Economic, Social and Humanitarian Support Plan valued at XOF 1,700 billion has been prepared for a rapid restart of activities at the end of the pandemic, aims to help mitigate the impact of the pandemic on populations and economic actors in formal and informal sectors. To complement this plan,
WFP and the UN System are supporting the Ministry of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and Poverty Alleviation in the development of a multisectoral response plan estimated at XOF 43 billion. The plan estimates that 10 percent of the population (26 million) are food insecure, and 1.3 million people would require urgent food assistance.

• WFP is working with the Ministry of Agriculture (MINADER) to set up a food security monitoring system in the capital to track the impact of the health crisis and movement restrictions on food security.
Abidjan is currently the most affected, recording 84 percent of the confirmed cases. Movement restriction measures have been put in place since 26 March, cutting off Abidjan from the rest of the country to minimize the spread of the virus.

• The International Women’s Day also marked the agenda in March. To this end, UNFPA, in collaboration with other UN agencies, including WFP, organized a brainstorming session, under the theme: “I AM GENERATION EQUALITY: REALIZING WOMEN'S RIGHTS”. This session was an opportunity to reflect on the role and status of women and the UN’s contribution towards gender equality in Cote d’Ivoire.

In Cote d’Ivoire, WFP’s gender transformative activities contribute towards improving gender equality and empowering women through access to quality education by encouraging girls to complete the primary education cycle through targeted take-home rations, and by enhancing the production capacities and increasing the revenues of women smallholder farmers.