WFP resumed its interventions in Togo in 2005 and currently runs its operations out of Lomé with support from the WFP Benin office in Cotonou, Benin. Recent projects have included one regional and three national Emergency Operations to provide assistance to internally displaced people, refugees, and vulnerable populations affected by emergencies such as floods and the high food price crisis.
In late 2010, Togo suffered from exceptional rainfall that resulted in significant flooding, particularly in the Maritime Region of southern Togo. In response to the drastic flooding, WFP prepared an emergency project to provide relief to the most affected vulnerable populations in this region. The response focused on a life-saving, direct food aid intervention, providing full family rations to 50,000 people in the Maritime Region. The targeted beneficiaries were mostly subsistence farmers who lost their stocks and agricultural assets in the floods, many of them also losing their homes. The activity aimed to improve the nutritional status of the most affected people and protect their livelihoods.
In addition, WFP operations in Togo have been providing assistance to refugee and host community populations. Beginning in April 2010, an estimated 3,800 Ghanaians fled inter-ethnic conflicts related to land tenure, crossing the border and seeking refuge in four villages in northern Togo. Although the arrival of the refugees coincided with the lean season, the local communities welcomed and hosted them, sharing their limited resources. This rendered living conditions increasingly difficult for both the refugees and the local population, exacerbating an already fragile food security situation. In response to this situation, since late July 2010 WFP has provided assistance to refugees and host families in order to save lives of the refugee population and ease the burden of these refugees on the host population.
The current project focuses on general food distribution, supplementary rations and food for work activities. Although distributions have yet to start due to a lack of resources, over a period of eight months, this project will provide general food distributions to refugees and the most vulnerable people among the host families. Food for work activities will take place during the lean season and target host households, allowing them to participate in reforestation and the rehabilitation of rural roads. Moderately malnourished children under five from both refugee and host communities will receive supplementary feeding rations until they recover.
Overall, this operation will reach 6,000 beneficiaries, including 3,800 refugees and 2,200 members of the host population. The overall goal of the current emergency project is to contribute to saving the lives of the Ghanaian refugees in northern Togo and ease the burden of the refugees on the host population. Immediate objectives are to (i) reduce acute malnutrition among refugees who have fled Ghana as a result of land tenure conflicts; (ii) protect and prevent the deterioration of the host population's livelihoods due to the refugees' presence; and (iii) mitigate the negative impact of the refugees' presence on the environment.