The chairman of the Government of Liberia’s COVID-19 Household Food Support Program (COHFSP) has assured participants and pledged to tackle the “Long-overdue lack of adequate information sharing” relating to the food distribution which began since June, disclosing that about 29 communities and 170 welfare groups have been served.
Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh, chairman of COHFSP and Executive Director of the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), admitted to the lack of information sharing by the steering committee and assured participants at the dialogue that the steering committee will begin making information available to the public going forward.
The COHSPF chairman made the brief and assuring statement on Wednesday, November 4, 2020, during the Institute for Research and Democratic Development (IREDD) second advocacy engagement policy dialogue with stakeholders of the COVID-19 household food support program to solicit solutions to improve the COHFSP implementation mechanism and information sharing.
The program, which was held at the iCampus on Carey Street, was attended by members of the steering committee, USAID, WFP, Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Agriculture, CHS, VOSIEDA, and several Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
Representing the World Food Program (WFP) was program-officer Amos Ballayan; while Sam Yoryor represented the Ministry of Agriculture; Atty. James Gilayenah, MFDP; and Lawrence Yealue, Accountability Lab. Also in attendance were community leaders from Doe Community, Clara town, and Cow Factory.
After about four months of monitoring the Liberian government’s food distribution to households and communities, IREDD has released two findings, stressing that the COVID-19 stimulus food distribution is slow and information sharing from the government and the World Food Program has been lacking, due to bureaucracies that limit access to information.
In the two findings, IREDD urged the government to provide information/update to citizens on the status of the ongoing food distribution in communities including budget expenditure and projected plans of actions.
IREDD also said in its report that the WFP and its partners — two locally sub-contracted organizations, the Volunteers for Sustainable Developments in Africa (VOSIEDA) and the Christian Humanitarian Services (CHS), as well as the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), should speed up the food distribution by deploying more staff in multiple communities and work with the LNP to strengthen security at distribution sites.
The CHS and VOSIEDA West Africa are responsible for distributing tickets and food to houses that have been numbered (marked) by the Liberia Institute of Statistics & Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).
IREDD is a leading human rights, governance and policy research organization with over 15 years of experience in undertaken ground-breaking monitoring initiatives that place spotlight on public financial management in Liberia.