Distribution of last food commodities under the McGovern-Dole 2013-2016 award was completed in February. With this, food distribution for school meals activities has ceased completely.
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 were remaining in country. WFP resumed general food distributions in December but only targeting the extremely vulnerable population
The Liberia Zero Hunger Strategic Review exercise is in progress, having started in September. The research team has conducted the last of five 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 Zero Hunger Strategic Review 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 the school meals programme. WFP and 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 distributed the last school meals to 158,000 children between January and February 2017. These represent 52 percent of the number of children reached in March 2016 when the country office increased the home-grown school meals pilot from 6 to 12 schools. The increase in the number of school children was necessitated by a 30 percent enrolment increase in the 6 pilot schools 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.
The Livelihood Assets and Market Promotion: under the Japanese supplementary project in rural and peri urban Montserrado county, WFP supported 6,825 people to develop: 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 11 farmers’ organizations in organization development, leadership and marketing skills.
Budget Revision 7: Given the low rate of voluntary repatriation, WFP has introduced a final budget revision of PRRO 200550 to support refugees through a targeted food and cash assistance up end of June 2017. Any refugee remaining after June 2017 will be supported through the Livelihood and Assets project in the Country Programme. The targeted distribution will be extremely vulnerable refugees only.