WFP scales up food do­na­tions

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

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.

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