A donation from the European Union to the UN’s World Food Programme (WFP) is helping to cushion some of the effects of high food prices in the country by providing school meals for some school children.
The Euro 2.7 million donation, ‘which has largely been used to procure bulgur wheat, vegetable oil, corn-soya blend, salt, sugar and beans, enables WFP to work with the government and other partners to boost safety net interventions to urban areas and areas on the outskirts of cities in response to high food prices,’ WFP representative Christa Rader explained.
She was on a visit to the country where on Tues 1st June visited the WFP school meals programme at the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) primary school at Kroobay, one of the infamous slums in the capital, Freetown. FAWE is one of the schools assisted by WFP since the start of the food price crisis.
The EU funding helps to scale-up existing WFP safety net interventions in collaboration with the Government. The focus is on vulnerable communities in the Western Area as well as Port Loko and Moyamba districts. In total, some 70,000 persons in these three districts will benefit.
The head of delegation of the European Union in the country, Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy, said the funding was ‘to assist the most vulnerable women, children and youths of Sierra Leone to cope with the effects of high food prices, compounded by the recent economic crisis, and to help them remain productive.’
The donation assists 11,500 women and children, including people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups under the Mother-and-Child Health and Nutrition programme, and provides a daily lunch to 36,000 school children in more than 100 public schools.
In addition, the EU and WFP says approximately 1,100 young men and women are supported to engage in skills training. Some 22,000 people from around 4,400 food insecure families are assisted in return for work carried out rehabilitating inland valley swamps, feeder roads and other community infrastructure. While ‘Food-for-Work’ style assistance is being provided in areas further away from markets, ‘Cash-for-Work’ is being piloted in targeted areas of Freetown and its surroundings.