The World Food Program’s (WFP) Regional Director for Central and West Africa, Abdou Dieng, on a four-day visit to Liberia, held bilateral discussions yesterday (Monday) with two senior officials of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
Dieng met with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG), Farid Zarif, and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG)/UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia, Yacoub El Hillo, at the UN HQ in Monrovia. Dieng lauded UNMIL for their collaboration with the WFP and support to the country, adding, “We are pleased to see the tremendous progress the country has made to overcome the effects of the civil war and the Ebola Virus Disease to an acceptable level, and faster than expected”.
During the meeting, discussions centered on the ongoing UNMIL drawdown and the capacity of the UN agencies in Liberia to continue to collectively support the Government and people of Liberia after the drawdown. They also discussed WFP’s expertise in areas of food security, nutrition and livelihood support for resilience building for vulnerable populations. WFP’s technical support to the government on the ongoing Zero Hunger Strategic Review that is intended to assist the country achieve zero hunger status by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goal Two (SDG 2), was also deliberated.
The three senior officials then touched on the challenges faced in mobilizing resources for WFP’s various activities such as school feeding and home-grown school feeding, which link smallholder farmers with markets to support education, and the role the government can play in addressing these resource mobilization issues. They also discussed the supply chain services – land/air/sea transport, telecommunications and warehousing – that WFP may provide to UN agencies, the donor community and government after the UNMIL drawdown.
Meanwhile, Mr. Dieng is expected to meet with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, senior government officials and development partners in Monrovia today, April 18th.
WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve food and nutrition security and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.