The Liberia school meals programme will experience a complete funding shortage in February. WFP and the Ministry of Education are working on a contingency plan and engaging the donor community.
WFP is supporting the Government with the Liberia Zero Hunger Strategic Review to review critical gaps and assess priorities to reach Zero Hunger by 2030.
The refugee population continues to decline due to the voluntary repatriation exercise conducted by UNHCR. By the end of 2016, 12,000 refugees will remain in country. WFP restarted general food distributions in December but only targeting the extremely and highly vulnerable populations.
WFP will provide food to malnourished HIV clients on ART*, to TB* clients and to clients of PMTCT* services including their affected households. The project is funded through the Government and the Global fund.
The Liberia Zero Hunger Strategic Review (ZHSR) exercise is in progress, having started in September. The research team conducted its first of 5 regional (in the counties) consultative meetings with citizens as a way of collecting relevant information on the state of food and nutrition in the country. The ZHSR will establish a baseline on the challenges and gaps in the national response to food and nutrition security. The exercise is expected to lead to a national consensus on priority actions required to achieve zero hunger by 2030.
The second food assistance for assets distribution under the UN Human Security Trust Fund project has been completed. A total of 16.15 mt of rice, beans, and vegetable oil was distributed to 300 farmers.
School Meals: WFP held talks with the Ministry of Education (MOE) on funding shortfalls in school feeding. WFP and the MOE also agreed on key activities for 2017, including the need for the Government to get involved in resource mobilization efforts and support the continuation of the home grown school meals pilot in 2017. WFP will distribute the last school meals to 158,000 children between January and February 2017. This represents a 52 percent cut in the number of children reached in March 2016 when the country office increased the home grown school feeding pilot from 6 to 12 schools. The increase in the number of schoolchildren was necessitated by a 30 percent enrolment increase in the 6 piloted from June and the new 6 schools added in November. Both sides reviewed the work plan to decide on activities to continue with until February 2017 – the end of the funding period.
Liberia has been reinstated to the priority list of McGovern-Dole Food for Education Award for 2017 and a proposal for school meals covering 5 years will be submitted in January.
The Livelihood Assets and Market Promotion: under the Japanese Bilateral project in Bong County, WFP supported farmers to develop 2.9 ha of lowland in-valley swamps within the 10 project communities in December 2016. This brought the total hectares developed to 106 (100 percent) of the project’s target. A total of 335 households (1,775 people) participated in asset creation (swamp development and local storage construction). A quantity of 4.772 mt of locally milled rice was distributed to asset beneficiaries.
Under the Japanese supplementary project in rural and Peri urban Montsurado County, WFP supported 6,825 people to develop the following: 18.2 ha (lowland rice paddy fields); 5.4 km (rehabilitation of community roads); 25.85 ha (cultivated with vegetables); 7.4 ha (cultivated with tuber crops) and 2.2 acres of community driven initiatives. The project also installed 3 rice mills and cassava processor sets, trained 40 youths on the maintenance of the agro-processing equipment, trained 250 farmers in crop production and trained 11 farmers’ organizations in organization development, leadership and marketing skills.