The European Union (EU) Representative, accompanied by two Representatives of the Minister of Education, Youths and Sports and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Country Representative, visited the WFP school meals programme at the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) primary school at Kroobay, Freetown. The visit follows a donation of Euro 2.7 million by the EU to WFP in October 2009.
“This generous donation from the EU, which has largely been used to procure bulgur wheat, vegetable oil, corn-soya blend, salt, sugar and beans, enables WFP to work with the government and other partners to boost safety net interventions to urban areas and areas on the outskirts of cities in response to high food prices,” WFP Representative Christa Rader explained during the visit.
FAWE is one of the schools in Freetown assisted by WFP since the start of the food price crisis.
This EU funding helps to scale-up existing WFP safety net interventions in collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone. The focus is on vulnerable communities in the Western Area as well as Port Loko and Moyamba districts. In total, some 70,000 persons in these three districts will benefit.
In his statement the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sierra Leone, H.E Jean-Pierre Reymondet-Commoy, said the gift was “to assist the most vulnerable women, children and youths of Sierra Leone to cope with the effects of high food prices, compounded by the recent economic crisis, and to help them remain productive.”
The donation assists 11,500 women and children, including people living with HIV/AIDS and other vulnerable groups under the Mother-and-Child Health and Nutrition programme, and provides a daily lunch to 36,000 school children in more than 100 public schools.
In addition, approximately 1,100 young men and women are supported to engage in skills training. Some 22,000 people from around 4,400 food insecure families are assisted in return for work carried out rehabilitating inland valley swamps, feeder roads and other community infrastructure. While “Food-for-Work” style assistance is being provided in areas further away from markets, “Cash-for-Work” is being piloted in targeted areas of Freetown and its surroundings.