Author: World Food Programme
Site of publication: WFP
Type of publication: Report
Date of publication: 2022
WFP is supporting the Government of Liberia through the Country Strategic Plan (CSP 2019-2023) to address challenges that continue to disrupt the full realisation of the Government agenda to ensure food security for its citizens. The CSP seeks to support the Government in ending hunger in Liberia (SDG 2) and to achieve all the Sustainable Development Goals through global partnership (Goal 17).
The CSP’s main activities include the School Meals Programme with a focus on increasing local production, Smallholder Agriculture Market Support, linked to Outcome One, Crisis Response to provide emergency assistance to the vulnerable population during and in the aftermath of emergencies, linked to Outcome Two, Country Capacity Strengthening initiatives to ensure Government ownership and sustainability of the CSP interventions, linked to Outcome Three and delivering common services to Government and humanitarian actors in the country, linked to Outcome Four. WFP continues to provide these interventions to support national efforts to address the food security crisis in Liberia.
WFP continued to provide common services, including commodity handling, storage, and transportation services, particularly to the Government of Liberia, for delivering essential drugs and medical supplies across the country. WFP is partnering with the Ministry of Health through a Global Fund contribution to deliver the health supply chain intervention. These services allow for the timely delivery and prepositioning of items in hard-to-reach locations. In 2022, 525 MT or 1912 cubic meters of medical supplies were distributed to 15 health facilities in 13 county depots, 39 hospitals, and 106 clinics nationwide.
Context and operations
Despite the notable effort by successive Governments, complemented by support from development partners and an abundant natural resource, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The country is still considered a fragile state with weak institutions, policies and governance and ranked 178 out of 191 countries in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Index. Poverty is widespread, with a significant concentration of poor households in rural areas. More than two million Liberians are estimated to live below the poverty line.
The Cadre Harmonize analysis conducted in October 2022 estimated that almost 877,739 people or 20 percent of the population were food insecure, and the situation was expected to deteriorate further. The Rapid Food Security Livelihoods Nutrition and Market Assessment (RFSLNMA) conducted in August 2022 found that nearly half (47 percent) of all households in Liberia are food insecure, while eight percent are severely food insecure and challenged by extreme food consumption gaps or extreme loss of livelihood assets.
In 2022, WFP identified major risks such as funding constraints impacted the CO to scaling down its workforce as part of cost-saving measures, rising inflation/food insecurity due to the ongoing national economic crisis, lack of technical capacity at the national level and cooperating partners, inexistence of qualified food safety and quality testing expertise and the risk of the diversion of assistance(food/cash).
CSP Financial Overview
The CSP for 2022 was 60 percent funded against the annual needs-based plan (NBP) of USD 20.2 million. Even though WFP received new contributions in 2022 compared to 2021, there was a 54 percent drop in funding compared to 2021 due to the large amount of unspent Covid-19 resources carried over from 2020 to 2021, which were not available in 2022.
Seventy-four percent of available directed multilateral contributions were carried over from the previous year, while 26 percent were newly confirmed contributions. Flexible funding allowed WFP to continue school feeding support to the country’s needed public and community, primary students. Based on lessons learned from the 2021 pilot CBT activities which targeted 1,000 schoolchildren and their households, WFP scaled up CBT modalities in 2022 to reach 14,944 vulnerable households of primary schoolchildren identified in two counties (Montserrado and Nimba).
Progress towards gender equality
Improved gender equality and women’s empowerment among WFP-assisted population
In 2022, WFP participated in the Government’s social protection policy review, which seeks to update the existing social protection policy to make it more gender inclusive and responsive to the needs of women, men, girls and boys. WFP, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, conducted to undertake the value chain analysis of two of the main crops and a post-harvest loss assessment. Both studies considered the critical role of women along the rice and cowpea value chains, including land preparation activities such as plowing, planting, weeding, bird-scaring and harvesting. To support their work, WFP provided training in post-harvest loss management and distributed labour-saving agricultural tools to reduce the burden on women smallholder farmers.
Protection and accountability to affected populations
Affected populations are able to benefit from WFP programmes in a manner that ensures and promotes their safety, dignity and integrity. Affected populations are able to hold WFP and partners accountable for meeting their hunger needs in a manner that reflects their views and preferences
To mitigate some of the key protection challenges highlighted above, WFP Liberia, in collaboration with partners including the Government, organized a series of activities and events to ensure the continuous monitoring of protection risks and take appropriate actions to mitigate the impact on beneficiaries we served. WFP participated in UNCT-organized awareness programs to inform beneficiaries about mechanisms and platforms available for reporting issues related to protection and accountability to the affected population.
WFP, through the Peace Building Funds project, facilitated the establishment of a toll-free call center at the National Bureau of Concession. The call center is used for beneficiaries and project partners to provide and receive feedback on concessionaires’ performance in implementing agreed conflict mitigation actions.
Targeted communities benefit from WFP programmes in a manner that does not harm the environment.
Liberia is a very wet and highly forested country, with more than 40 percent of the intact portion of the Upper Guinea Forest. In Liberia, in addition to activities (such as the extraction of gold, diamonds, and iron ore, and the production of palm oil and rubber) undertaken by concession companies, more than 60 percent of the rural population live on agriculture as the primary source of Livelihood.
Agriculture practices are characterized by traditional slash and burn, and shifting cultivation leads to rapid deforestation, environmental degradation, and the release of greenhouse gas (GHGs), especially carbon dioxide (CO2), by cutting trees and burning vegetation. Furthermore, an estimated 100,000 people, mostly in rural communities, engaged in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and extraction of gold and diamond across Liberia, which caused contamination of soils and pollution of surface and groundwater through harmful chemicals such as mercury. Inadequate drainage control and solid waste management further drive environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
WFP, through its Food Assistance for Assets programmes, strengthened the capacities of communities to implement climate-smart agriculture projects in 2022, encouraging farmers to move away from upland to lowland farming, which reduces the incidence of slash-and-burn agriculture and its impact on the environment.