WFP scales up food donations
THE World Food Programme (WFP) says it will scale up its cash and food assistance programme to include more than 201 000 food insecure people during the lean season, extending up to April 2017.
This is in addition to supporting the government initiative to provide meals at school to 250 000 learners in the public primary schools. WFP Country Director, Mary Njoroge this week told the Lesotho Times that the gesture was in response to the government’s plea to development partners to assist food insecure people who had been affected by the El Nino drought. The drought affected crop and livestock production, leaving an estimated 709 000 people in urgent need of food assistance.
From March to August 2016, WFP assisted 22 090 food insecure people in the Mafeteng and Mohale’s Hoek districts with cash transfers through Standard Bank Lesotho; and since October, WFP has scaled up to Mas- eru, Botha-bothe and Quthing, with plans to expand to Thaba-tseka and Berea in December 2016 and January 2017 respectively.
“From October 2016 until March or April 2017, the lean season, WFP will assist 201,000 food insecure people through cash and food distribution,” Ms Njoroge said.
Food insecure people are selected through community targeting and verification to ensure assistance ben- efits the most food insecure people. The targeting and selection of beneficiaries is coordinated by the DMA in partnership with WFP, World Vision Lesotho, Lesotho Red Cross and other development partners.
Ms Njoroge said WFP’S monitoring system has established that people who received cash assistance used the money to buy food and other basic household needs. All cash assistance is distributed through
Standard Bank Lesotho, over the counter and through the Automated Teller Machines (ATMS) on a small scale. WFP also partnered with the National University of Lesotho (NUL) to manage the feedback mechanism where people are encouraged to call a toll-free telephone number to express any concerns relating to the implementation of WFP assistance.
Ms Njoroge said cash and food assistance activities in other districts were supported by the British government through Ukaid, the European Union, Switzerland, Netherlands and Australia.