Thousands of household members in Margibi and Nimba Counties have begun receiving their food rations as the COVID-19 Household Food Support Programme (COHFSP) distribution intensifies in their communities. The food ration — comprising one 50kg bag of rice, one gallon of vegetable oil, and 28 cups of beans per household — are being provided by the Government of Liberia through the World Food Programme (WFP) and partners.
“More than 29,000 households in Margibi’s four districts (Gibi, Firestone, Kakata, and Manbakaba) have been enumerated to benefit from the food rations,” said Linus Sarkor, Programme Coordinator of Volunteers for Sustainable Development in Africa (VOSIEDA), the NGO that partners with WFP in the food distribution. According to Mr. Sarkor, distribution has already been completed in Gibi and Firestone Districts while 60 percent has been obtained for Manbakaba and 6,000 out of 11,000 households have been completed in Kakata District.
“As I speak to you, I can confirm that this distribution work is in full gear. In Nimba County alone, food has been trucked by WFP in 13 out of 17 districts, distribution is actively ongoing in five districts while distribution in Mainpea-Mahn District has already been completed with other districts nearing completion,” said Mr. Sarkor.
Mr. Sarkor, however, expressed concern over the “continuous disruption by some community residents who do not understand the selection criteria and the mandate of the COHFSP that the food is intended only for the most vulnerable and not for everybody”. He blamed the situation on the lack of proper awareness-raising. “Lack of information and public awareness is the major hurdle driving disinformation among the people and that needs to be corrected,” he added.
Meanwhile, community residents are expressing happiness and gratitude to the government, WFP, and partners for the food.
B-Ma Kamara, 32, is a mother of three girls in Margibi County: “Do you know what it means for your government and WFP to bring food to you freely? I want to fall and roll over on this coal tar [road] with happiness.”
Victoria Gibson, 37; Mary Williams, 40; Famatta Cooper, 33; Otis Kweh, 36; Annie Sackie, 21 and many other beneficiaries welcomed the food support. “I have two children, no food. See my daughter here? She is crying because she is hungry. I only want to say thank you,” said Mary Williams.