The President of the Republic of Liberia George Manneh Weah, has issued Executive Order #110 to extend expired Executive Order #101 on the repositioning of the National Food Assistance Agency of Liberia (NFAA).
Executive Order #110 was issued on May 16, 2022, and is aimed to reposition and strengthen the NFAA to make it far more effective, responsive, and cut-crossing in keeping with its authority, scope, functions, and operations.
The Executive Order emboldens the NFAA to make school feeding programs sustainable across the country and tackle improved nutrition for Liberian school children to increase their access, participation, and achievement in learning outcomes such as enrolment, attendance, and retention.
“This method will make use of food commodities produced locally as well as the donated food products. The approach will in turn increase agricultural productivity and income of smallholder farmers, thereby enhancing resilience to shocks among food insecure communities by promoting access of farmers to production and market opportunities,” the Executive Order stipulates.
NFAA, under the Executive Order, is to purchase from farmers excess produce to be processed and stored for distribution to schools and other institutions in case of needs or emergency, the Executive Order stated.
In keeping with the Executive Order, “NFAA is required to introduce food stamps and free meal for physically challenged persons, single and vulnerable parents including young children, pregnant women, and lactating mothers. Others are the aged, sick, and malnourished children as well as the Girl-Child without parental guidance and support.
And to establish storage and processing facilities for local crops (cassava, plantain, eddoes, and rice) for distribution. This will augment food relief donation to Liberia,” the Executive Order said.
It added: “It is also to enable to NFAA to provide a sustainable and reliable food security and nutrition systems through the establishment of regional food hubs, ensure compliance with established standards for food quality, monitor and distribute food commodities to the vulnerable, underprivileged individuals and disadvantaged institutions, store and facilitate market linkages for local farmers for surplus commodities.”
In order to ensure full implementation of this mandate, the National Legislature will provide workable supplementary budget to augment and/or harmonize employees’ basic salaries and enable NFAA to meet both its administrative and operational challenges.
It is mandated to conduct a survey and create a comprehensive database of both local and international food-related NGOs in Liberia, ensuring proper monitoring mechanisms of food donations from foreign sources and their ultimate distribution and supply to targeted Liberian beneficiaries and institutions.
“Ensure the continuous existence of regional food banks across the country for timely interventions in food assistance during natural disasters such as flood, quakes, and drought.
President Weah said the Executive Order is an affirmation that the issue of food insecurity is critical to its flagship development agenda, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity (PAPD), as well as global efforts geared towards ending hunger and poverty by 2030;.
According to the President, the decision supports the fact that the food-producing resources of Liberia have been under-utilized for well over a decade, and that the Government intends to encourage investment in this sector to ensure the sustainable development and the realization of food security in tune with goal one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aligns with pillar one of the PAPD.
The Agency shall be headed by a Director-General, assisted by other directors and a nine-member Board of Directors to be chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture of Liberia.