Liberia is recovering from a civil war which lasted from 1989-2003. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reports, “The war displaced nearly one million Liberians, left the country’s infrastructure in shreds and wiped out health and education systems.”
How do you overcome such history? Think of the challenges Liberians face in restoring the community life that many of us take for granted. It must start with ensuring enough food, particularly for children. As George Marshall once said, "Food is the very basis of all reconstruction," and this holds true for Liberia. But without enough funding and support, programs like Food for Education will not be available for all children. Louis Imbleau, the country director for WFP in Liberia, discusses how important school meals are for the children.
How many children are benefiting from the WFP school feeding programs within the country?
550,000 school children are benefiting from WFP school feeding programs in Liberia.
Discuss what effect the meals have on the children in terms of school attendance, performance, and nutrition.
According to a WFP School Feeding Baseline Survey (June 2007), school enrollment increased by 69 percent from 2005/06 to 2006/07 in schools that had begun school feeding programs in 2006/07. The average enrollment increased by 50 percent for schools that began their programs before the 2006/07 school year. The Self-Evaluation of School Feeding (June 2006) found that the program "has proved effective in increasing the enrollment of Liberian children in primary schools" and "improving their learning capacity". The Comprehensive Food Security and Nutrition Survey (2006) showed a consistently strong positive correlation between enrollment rates and school feeding support for all age groups surveyed. Households that benefit from school feeding have a 20 percent higher school enrollment rate for children ages five through twelve than households that do not benefit from school feeding.