The Assistant Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative in Liberia, Octavius Quarbo, has said the United Nations agency remains committed to promoting food security in the country.
According to Mr. Quarbo, the FAO support to food and nutrition security impact, resilience, sustainability and transformation started in March 2016, and today is almost is in many developing countries in the world.
Quarbo said, FAO has been able to support the government in developing its National Agricultural Investment Plan known as the Liberia Agricultural Sector Investment Program, adding that up to now it continues to support the process by collaborating with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to support its 15 members in preparing national and regional business meetings.
The FAO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that leads international efforts to defeat hunger with the goal to achieve food security for all and also makes sure that people have regular access to enough high quality food to lead active, healthy lives in over 190 UN member states.
Speaking in Monrovia on Wednesday at a one-day country-level Policy Effectiveness Analysis (PEA) Validation Workshop, the FAO Representative said Liberia remains a food and nutrition insecure country where large segments of the population suffer from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition.
According to him, the predominant causes of food and nutrition insecurity are limited production and availability of food supplies, insufficient access to food, and food shortage arising from disaster, both natural and manmade, adding that feeding practices and lack of knowledge among caregivers on how to feed children is also a major cause of malnutrition among children under 5 years in Liberia.
Quarbo said in order to overcome the food security and nutrition challenges in the country, a number of policies, strategies and programs have been developed, which is an overarching policy and strategic framework for national development and for the achievement of the Strategic Development Goal.
“As food security and nutrition is a multi-dimensional issue, there are multiple effects and various institutions involved in addressing these issues in the world. Therefore, we need to work together to ensure the availability of sufficient food at all times, improve physical and economic access to food, ensure stable food supply and promote healthy and balanced diets and adequate food utilization, in particular, by women and children,” Quarbo emphasized.
He concluded that the FAO and European Union are working together in over 32 countries in the world, including Liberia.
The aim of the joint program in Liberia is to facilitate a more enabling environment for food and nutrition security and sustainable agricultural program.
The EU Policy Assistance Facility and its scope and modalities is driven by the demand, and opportunity identified jointly by the Government of Liberia, and EU delegation and the FAO Representative.