A three year Cross-Border action plan for food security and nutrition in Liberia and Ivory Coast has been proposed by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
FAO Country Representative, Mr. Jean-Alexandre Scaglia has said that the role of women under the proposed program would be prioritized to benefit at least 30 communities in both countries by 2016.
He made the disclosure yesterday during the official launch of the program in Monrovia.
According to Mr. Scaglia communities benefiting the program in the two countries were chosen based on their level of food insecurity, land issues and other factors.
He said that a baseline survey was conducted to determine the communities’ selection.
Also speaking at the program was Mr. Aeneas C. Chuma, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (UNDSRSG) in Liberia. Mr. Chuma said there are many problems faced by his organization in both Liberia and the Ivory Coast; especially concerning the economy and vulnerability of women and children.
He explained that human development and capacity building were other major areas that need serious attention to impact the cross-border food security plan.
For her part, the Danish Refugee Council Country Representative, Ms. Martine Villenevue, underscored the need to highlight peace and stability on the cross-border plan to improve the livelihoods of the people.
The area along the Ivorian-Liberian border has historically been a vulnerable one.
14 years of civil war destroyed much of the social and economic infrastructure in Liberia and disrupted access to basic services.
Similarly in the west of Ivory Coast a pattern of violent conflict prevailed over the past years.
The ECHO-funded Cross Border Program is a coordinated approach in the two countries focusing on the areas of social cohesion, food security and land tenure.
The added value of having an integrated program lies in identifying synergies and extending complementary services that reinforce the impact of the three partners’ respective activities as well as the program as a whole.
The pilot action selected 30 villages who met the programs criteria, which includes proximity to the border, prevalence of land issues and complexity of the protection context and food insecurity.
The Program has positive bias toward female –headed households and includes youth groups in affected areas.