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US offers funding to help combat food insecurity in Sierra Leone

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has welcomed a contribution of US$3.2mn from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to provide emergency food and development assistance to 68,000 people in Sierra Leone, where four out of five households have irregular access to safe and nutritious food

Nearly 81% of Sierra Leonean households were unable to meet their basic food and nutrition needs, of which 15% were severely food insecure and needed emergency food assistance, according to an August 2022 Food Security Monitoring System analysis. The funding from USAID will be used to provide emergency cash transfers to the worst-hit communities, expand homegrown school feeding and support agricultural efforts to strengthen people’s resilience.

Around 40,000 people in Port Loko, Tonkolili and Pujehun districts will receive mobile money to meet their immediate food needs. Elsewhere, WFP will provide cash to 30 more schools in Kambia and Pujehun districts to buy fresh vegetables and sweet potato directly from small-scale farmers. WFP will also provide agricultural equipment to small-scale farming communities and Mother Support Groups in Falaba, Koinadugu, Tonkolili, Kambia, Moyamba and Pujehun districts to clear more land, process rice and produce feed for poultry enterprises. In addition to this, around 95 farmer groups managing village loans and savings schemes will receive training in financial management. 

"This contribution underscores our desire to invest in the local economies through school feeding and agriculture and stimulate community-led systems that can break the cycle of hunger and malnutrition,” said David Reimer, the American Ambassador to Sierra Leone.