The chairman of the COVID-19 food distribution steering committee Professor Wilson Tarpeh discloses here that a total of US$30 million has been secured to distribute assorted food among 2.5 million vulnerable Liberians cross the country.
Professor Tarpeh, who is also Minister of Commerce and Industry, says the distribution exercise is characterized by three-pronged approach, involving health authorities, the Joint Security and the steering committee.
Speaking Tuesday, 27th May to ‘Truth Breakfast Show’, a live early morning talk show hosted by Truth FM 96.1 in Paynesville on the outskirt of Monrovia, Mr. Tarpeh explains the food basket to vulnerable people will contain both locally-produced and imported items, including rice, oil vegetables and beans, respectively.
He says the Government of Liberia thru an IMF assistance program is providing US$25 million to the basket, while the World Bank is contributing $5 million to ensure food reach vulnerable population in the wake of the State of Emergency and lockdown announced by government to fight the novel coronavirus.
President George Manneh Weah submitted a US$25 million stimulus package to the 54th Liberian Legislature in April for approval to provide food to the initially four affected counties: Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Kru. But members of the Legislature want all 15 counties to benefit from the exercise.
Professor Tarpeh continues that the Government of Liberia contracted the services of the World Food Programme to procure and distribute food to the needy.“Our responsibility is to provide policy to WFP. It is important for our people to understand”, he notes.
He says the national committee has several sub-committees, including security, food distribution coordinated by the Liberia Council of Churches and the Muslim community, budget and finance, headed by the World Bank, monitoring and evaluation, and communication headed by the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, respectively. Story by Jonathan Browne