WFP works closely with the Government for the establishment of a sustainable national school meals programme and government managed food security and nutrition monitoring programmes. To this end in 2011 WFP handed over responsibility of the monitoring and reporting responsibilities to the Ministry of Education for a National School Feeding Policy at central, county and district levels. WFP currently provides daily school meals to over 320,000 primary school children in 10 counties and monthly take – home rations for 9,000 girls in grades 4 -6 where there is the highest gender gap in primary education. Since 2010 WFP has been distributing locally procured rice through WFP’s P4P programme as part of the take – home ration programme.
WFP together with the government of Liberia initiated the school garden programme to not only establish school gardens that will provide school children with direct access to nutritious foods, such as vegetables, but also deliver an essential learning package to students in life skills training, environmental conservation and awareness, improved practices in agriculture and nutrition.
Purchase for Progress
WFP’s P4P initiative began in Liberia in 2009 and currently works with 17 farmers groups, including 8 women’s groups leading to the improved farming income of 2,500 farmers. Since 2009 WFP has purchased 824 metric tons of milled rice which is distributed in country as part of the school take-home rations for girls. The connections to markets and contacts that the P4P programme provides farming groups enables the participating groups to accumulate capital and invest in improved agricultural inputs and technology such as power tillers, rice mills and transport vehicles.
Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation
The PRRO started in September 2009 puts a sharp focus on productive safety net measures in responding to chronic food insecurity and preparing for lean seasons and to mitigate the impact of high food prices on vulnerable rural households. Programmes include Livelihood Asset Promotion, Nutrition Interventions and Community Grain Reserves.
Livelihood Asset Promotion: Through the provision of food assistance coupled with provision of improved seeds and training (from FAO) LAP focuses on engaging food deficient households in building land and water management structures. Since 2010, 34 farmer’s cooperatives, youth and women’s groups have been supported to rehabilitate 1,100 hectares of fertile swamplands and associated small –scale irrigation structures for increased rice production. Targeted farmers increased their yields by more than 100%.
Nutrition Intervention / HIV/AIDS: WFP provides food assistance to protect the nutritional and health status of mothers and children at risk of malnutrition, TB patients and people living with HIV. The nutrition programme intervention includes the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition in children under 5 and supporting children under 2 and pregnant and lactating women to prevent stunting at nutrition centres set up by the Ministry of Health and NGO partners. WFP also provides care and treatment to rehabilitate HIV/AIDS patients through nutritional support for moderately malnourished HIV patients and their families with support to minimize illness associated costs, enhance food security and support the patient’s response to therapy. In 2011, 31,500 beneficiaries received nutritional support through targeted health clinics.
Emergency Food Assistance to Ivorian Refugees
Since November 2010, 128,000 Ivorian refugees were hosted in camps and communities in Liberia. Some have returned but 69,000 remain in Liberia. The burden of the refugees on vulnerable communities and the dramatic price increases for the main staples (rice and cassava) saw WFP launch the emergency operation (EMOP) which is expected to extend till June of 2013. The EMOP provides monthly general food distributions to refuges, food support to 60,000 people in targeted host communities through the Food For Assets programme and nutritional support to 2,000 pregnant and lactating women and 3,000 children under 5 through the supplementary food programme.