The government of Liberia has begun the food distribution process at the cost of US$30 million, with US$25 million being provided by the Liberian Government while the World Bank is providing the remaining US$5 million. The process which initially targets 10 Welfare institutions will benefit vulnerable people.
The Process will give attention to people affected by the Coronavirus, mainly households rendered vulnerable by the deadly Coronavirus, according to the Chairman of the National COVID-19 Household Food Support Programme Steering Committee Chairman, Minister Wilson Tarpeh
Min. Tarpeh said Saturday, May 23, that the initial food delivery targets 10 Welfare institutions including Margret Gierath-Nimene Foundation, GSA Community in Zubah Town – Paynesville, Rock of Divine Children Orphanage and Christ Our Hope Orphanage, within SKD Complex Community, Christian Association of the Blind on Krubo Avenue RIA Highway and Liberia Children Village in Margibi County.
Others are Doma Farm Community; Frances Gaskin Rescue Home for Children, GSA Community; Children Relief Ministry, Duport Road and the Love and Child Orphanage Home, RIA Community.
The Commerce & Industry Minister Tarpeh led senior government and World Food Programme (WFP) officials to the 10 welfare institutions in and around Monrovia as Chairman of the National Steering Committee for the food distribution program, where they provided rice and other assorted food items for occupants.
Our reporter said the beneficiaries were in a jubilant mood, hailing the government for the decision to provide food for them during the State of Emergency as the food convoy arrived at the various institutions.
Prof. Tarpeh reiterated that the process targets vulnerable people in and around Montserrado County. He said the distribution started Saturday with the support of his colleagues from government and the WFP, and that of the media, saying that a great job was done on day one of the distribution.
The Commerce Minister though said it was a difficult start, he however expressed excitement that the much publicized food distribution finally came to reality with all hands on deck.
“With the support of our partners, the World Food Program (WFP), the Christian Community, the Muslim Community and the greatest support from the President, this process will see the distribution of food throughout the country,” he assured.
Minister Tarpeh said as part of efforts in the fight against the coronavirus, the President established, among other things, a national steering committee, with principal terms of reference being to distribute food to vulnerable communities.
He acknowledged that it took a long time for the process to begin, but said it required meticulous planning to commence the process.
At the orphanages, Prof. Tarpeh told the orphans that the President is concerned about their welfare; and as such, President Weah asked that the orphans be prioritized in the distribution process.
Minister Tarpeh disclosed that the total budget for the food distribution exercise is US$30 million, with US$25 million being provided by the Liberian Government while the World Bank is providing the remaining US$5 million.
When quizzed as to when the team will go outside Montserrado County, the Co-Chairperson for the committee, Agriculture Minister Jeanine Cooper said it is a gradual process because it requires lot of planning.
She said it will take five to seven days to complete distribution to targeted communities in Margibi and Montserrado Counties before going to other counties.
Madam Cooper said the entire distribution exercise will last between 60 to 75 days, saying “there are lots of communities and you can’t just throw the rice out there and say we have fed the people.”
The Minister of Agriculture also said disadvantaged youth, commonly referred to as ‘zogoes’ will also benefit from the food distribution exercise.
She furthered that communities highly hit by the coronavirus will also be targeted in a special manner for food distribution.