The World Food Program (WFP) in Liberia donates 10 laptops to the National Food Assistance Agency (NFAA) here to strengthen the entity’s capacity.
The Dell Lenovo i5 Dual-Core laptops, with a processing speed of 1.19 GHz and valued at 9,390 United States Dollars, were presented to the Director General of the NFAA, C. Neileh Daitouah at a ceremony held in the conference hall of the Ministry of Public Works in Monrovia.
Making the presentation on behalf of WFP Country Director Dr. Aliou Diongue, the Head of Program in Liberia, Amos Ballayan said the gesture is the direct result of President George Manneh Weah’s request to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and WFP to support the NFAA in the areas of technical, logistical, and capacity strengthening so that it will lead Liberia’s food assistance sector, as the nation joins in the fight against the scourge of food insecurity in the subregion.
Mr. Ballayan said WFP is aware that most – if not all – of its food assistance activities in Liberia would be sustained locally if the technical capacity of national institutions such as the NFAA’s is supported and strengthened.
“So, whatever we do here, we want to make sure that there is a partner or counterpart from the government side that will eventually take over these interventions,” he added.
The WFP’s Head of Program said it is predicated upon the President’s request and in the spirit of institutional collaboration that the UN food agency decided to donate the 10 laptops as its contribution towards the capacity strengthening efforts of national institutions to ensure that as the current Country Strategic Plan comes to an end in 2023, WFP would have strong national counterparts to work with, including the National Food Assistance Agency.
Mr. Ballayan said the donation is also in response to several requests the agency has made to WFP since the latest Executive Order repositioning the NFAA was issued by President Weah a year ago.
Among others, he said the NFAA requested training needs for its workforce in the areas of food security, data analyses, warehouse management, food safety and quality.
He assured the agency of WFP’s commitment to conducting the training in the mentioned areas as soon as funding is secured.
Mr. Ballayan expressed particular delight in the donation of the computers that he said is timely in the wake of a recent agreement entered into by the two institutions to implement food distribution to 55,250 school children and their vulnerable parents in targeted public elementary schools across Montserrado, Nimba and Maryland counties.
He said with the timely provision of the laptops, accurate reports from the distribution exercise in the three counties will be enhanced and done seamlessly.
In response, NFAA director general C. Neileh Daitouah thanked the WFP for the kind gesture on behalf of Agriculture Minister. Jeanine M. Cooper, who chairs the Board of Directors of NFAA.
He lauded efforts of international development partners who, like WFP, have contributed in no small measure to the rebranding efforts of the agency since the issuance of Executive Order 101 by President Weah, reawakening the agency after many years of dormancy.
Mr. Daitouah made specific mention of office equipment, furniture and stationeries WFP provided to the agency a few months after President Weah issued the Executive Order.
The NFAA boss also disclosed that the cost of NFAA’s five-year strategic plan which is being developed by LIPA is borne by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to the tune of 6,500.00 United States Dollars.
The National Food Assistance Agency is a non-ministerial agency of government that was established by Executive Orders in the 1970s.
Currently, NFAA operates on an annual budget of US$124,745 representing only compensation for its 29 employees.