Liberia ranks 182nd of 187 countries in the human development index. Since the 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement it has been recovering from a 14-year civil war that destroyed national infrastructure and basic social services. An estimated 64 percent of Liberians live below the poverty line, of whom 1.3 million live in extreme poverty. Social safety nets are poorly developed. Agricultural production has improved since the end of the war, but the country still depends on food imports and is vulnerable to economic shocks. Agricultural markets are poorly integrated, especially in rural areas, exacerbating food insecurity and poverty. Food insecurity affects 41 percent of the population and chronic malnutrition is high.
The WFP country programme is aligned with the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework; it has three components: strengthen social safety nets through school feeding and nutrition support; promote productive safety nets and reduce food insecurity in vulnerable rural communities through sustainable livelihood options; and develop government capacity for sustainable management of social safety net programmes.
The country programme will reach 624,000 beneficiaries over five years. Its components reflect the recommendations of reviews of preceding operations and consultations with partners. It will contribute to Strategic Objectives 2, 4 and 5 and Millennium Development Goals 1–7. Investments in government capacity development at the central and local levels will lay the foundation for a gradual hand-over to the Government.