FAO To Support Ebola Affected Farmers, Small Businesses in Liberia

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In support of the re-establishment of Ebola affected farmers and small business holders in the various counties in Liberia, the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has disclosed a plan to support farmers and small business holders in the country.

The one-day meeting with farmers and small business holders in Kakata, Margibi County brought together over 60 women from five counties, Bong, Lofa, Margibi, Bomi and Montserrado, to help highlight their needs and sustainability in Liberia.

Speaking yesterday on the BWI campus in Kakata, Margibi County, the head of the FAO’s assessment mission in Liberia, Vincent Martin, said, he was concerned about the affect of the deadly Ebola virus on farmers and small business holders and their immediate needs that would helped to re-establish them in their various areas.

Mr. Martin explained that he was pleased to be in Liberia and meeting with citizens who have been affected by the deadly Ebola virus and help to ensure that his organization (FAO) would help in empowering farmers and other small business holders in improving their living condition.

“We want to know the effect of the Ebola disease, including the economic challenges and how the FAO can provide  support to empower you.” He said the virus affected Liberia negatively and this required finding solutions that would better the lives of farmers and those into small businesses.”

He assured the farmers and small business holders that the meeting will have a significant  impact in their lives, including economic empowerment and re-establishment of better living condition.  

According to Mr. Martin, his organization will continue to support the Liberian people in the fight against the Ebola virus and ensure that farmers are supported in their farming activities, including the small business holders.

Also speaking, the Minister of Gender and Development, Julia Duncan Cassell, said 60-65 percent of women were affected by the deadly Ebola virus during the early outbreak of the disease. “Women were always there to give care, even as the death toll affected them, too.”

The Gender Minister attributed the lack of awareness and sensitization to the high death rate of women in the country but said, they had taken serious advantage  of the preventive measures in recent times.

“Telling a mother that your child is sick and you don’t need  to touch that child is a difficult thing to do with. Telling market women that you can’t go to Guinea is a very serious problem that broke many businesses down in Liberia.

She further explained,  “Liberian women were seriously making progress in their living condition, including economic empowerment, development, agriculture, going back to school, improving in small medium size businesses,” she narrated.

The Minister said, if Liberian  women are being empowered throughout the country, the rest of the Liberia will be empowered, she added.

“Most of the women are trained on how to borrow money and pay it back. We look at women who farm and do small businesses throughout the country in the empowerment sector.”

She urged the women to make use of the opportunities provided by FAO that would help in the improvement of their living standard and the re-establishment of their activities. 

The one-day meeting was focused on the Ebola virus disease and women’s  associations recovery plan and sustainability in post Ebola.

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