-Montserrado County residents are initial beneficiaries
The long-awaited COVID 19 household food distribution has commenced in Montserrado County with a call on beneficiaries to observe health protocols. The food distribution exercise started Saturday, June 13, 2020, in Bassa Community. A local NGO, Volunteers For Sustainable Development In Africa (VOSIEDA), is implementing the exercise in partnership with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and Government of Liberia (GoL).
In March 2020, the GoL announced that it would distribute food as part of a stimulus package for underprivileged people amidst COVID 19 outbreak. Following three months of preparatory work with GoL, both local and international partners, including VOSIEDA, World Bank, and WFP, the food distribution has finally begun and is expected to cut across the country. Each household of 5 persons is entitled to 2 bags of 25kg rice, a gallon of oil, and beans.
At an indoor program marking the official start of the distribution process, Commerce Minister and Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Wilson Tarpeh encouraged beneficiaries to observe all health protocols as they take delivery of their food items. He noted that the distribution of food will take place in several communities in Montserrado County, with a focus on disadvantaged people.
VOSIEDA’s Finance and Administrative Manager, Isaac B. Gbaie told participants during a training section, a day before the start of the distribution that partnering with the GoL and international partners was a remarkable venture, adding, “VOSIEDA feels proud to serve the people of Liberia during this critical global health crisis that has impeded social and economic progress. We are very pleased to work with the Government of Liberia and its international and local partners in making this dream come true and for the benefit of Liberians who are underprivileged.”
He said as an entity implementing the food distribution exercise, along with WFP, they will ensure that the rightful beneficiaries are served and that the staff of VOSIEDA remain independent, focused, and professional in the discharge of their respective duties. According to him, the exercise, which has already commenced in Montserrado, will extend to Margibi, Bong, and Nimba Counties and will last for 2 months as per the agreement with WFP.
The distribution of COVID 19 household food items is funded by the Liberian government through budgetary support from the World Bank and implemented by WFP and VOSIEDA. About 2.5 million people, particularly those at epic centers, are expected to benefit from the exercise.