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Marylanders benefit COVID-19 stimulus food package

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Thousands of household members in Maryland County are currently receiving food rations as government COVID-19 Household Food Support Programme (COHFSP) distribution intensifies in the county.

More than 25,952 households in Maryland’s four districts(Harper, Pleebo Sodoken, Karluway and Barrobo) have been enumerated to benefit from the food rations, says Program Officer of Caritas Cape Palmas, Waidi Bobo, the NGO partnering with the World Food Programme that is spearheading the food distribution.

Mr. Bobo told reporters that every qualify household in Maryland County will receive 2 bags of 25 kg rice, 1 gallon of oil, and 10 kilo of beans. He also confirmed that 25,952 households have been selected to benefit in the four districts.

Speaking to this paper at the start of the distribution on January 4, 2021in the Harper City Hall, he said though the COHFSP implementation had experienced delay due to registration of beneficiaries, particularly identification and verification of most vulnerable households, it is now in full swing in Harper, Maryland County Electoral district#1 to be followed by Pleebo, Karluway and Barrobo districts, respectively.

He stressed that though, it is impossible for everyone to receive food because of the vulnerability condition attached by the government, but those eligible should exercise patience, as they would be served.

The Caritas program officer lauded the government through the WFP for such great opportunity accorded them in the southeastern region. He explained Caritas Cape Palmas will fairly distribute the 1,080 metric tons of food items in Maryland County to those who supposed to receive.

However, he expressed concern over the “continuous disruption of distribution by some community residents, who do not understand the selection criteria and the mandate of the COHFSP that the food is intended only for the most vulnerable in the population, not everybody.”

He blamed the situation on the lack of proper awareness-raising. “Lack of information and public awareness is the major hurdle driving disinformation among the people and that needs to be corrected,” he mentioned.

Receiving the food rations, many recipients commended effort of the Liberian government and partners for the gesture.

Nyemade Davis, a resident of Harper District and mother of four children, lauded President George Weah for fulfilling his promise made during the peak of the Covid-19 here.

“We are extremely happy for the support given us from the Government of Liberia, let God protection lead the government most specially,His Excellency, Dr. George Memeh Weah, who through his goodwill, we are receiving food items in this difficult time”, she said.

Orathe N. Nyepan,a mother of six, and resident of Harper District said, she hadthought the government wanted to play game due to protracted delay in providing the stimulus food package.

“Let me say thank to WFP, CARITAS and the National Government, although I had given up due to delay after our registration was done, but thank God today; I am going home with rice, bean and oil for my family and I to eat”, she said.

Meanwhile, the stimulus food package distribution continues in the county with vulnerable citizens, including women, children, elderly persons, the visually-impaired and physically-challenged benefiting.

Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland County–Editing by Jonathan Browne

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