Garissa County Secretary, Abdi Sheikh, has lauded the partnership between the World Food Programme (WFP) and the county government that has seen at least 69,762 vulnerable persons receive monthly food rations.
The programme that has lasted for over one year has also benefited other sectors including agriculture, livestock and Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) programmes.
Speaking in his office when he received a delegation of WFP senior officials led by the Country Director Ms Lauren Landis Tuesday , Abdi said that programme was also expanded during the floods where over 10,000 displaced households received food supplies.
The County Secretary said that the MOU and plan of operation signed last year by the County Government and WFP laid the foundation for stronger collaboration and opened a new working arrangement for effective programming.
He said the first year of the partnership had seen improved technical capacity for agriculture and livestock extension officers, and empowerment of local farmers.
The programme also included logistical support to deliver government relief food to villages cut off by floods, constant supply of nutrition commodities to health facilities, development of County ECDE Policy Bill and ECDE feeding guidelines.
“As we begin another year of this partnership, the need for co-operation will be even greater in diverse areas including strengthening capacity for an efficient, coordinated, government-led preparedness and response to food nutrition and security related emergencies, provision of support to newly enrolled ECD children and up-scaling of resilient livelihoods programmes,” Abdi said.
The County Secretary said there is need to engage youth in economic empowerment activities, addressing food markets and food supply chain inefficiencies and scaling up nutrition interventions.
“Our youth remain vulnerable especially at this time of Corona virus where unemployment has shot up due to businesses closing down,” he said.
The meeting was attended by CECs Issa Oyow (Water), Habiba Nasib (Education) and Issa Yarrow Kahin (Roads and Transport), Roble Nunow (Finance), Abdi Omar (Public Works), Zeinab Abdi Digale (Culture) and Habon Aden (Environment).
The Director for Youth Osman Bilal, Director for Donor Coordination Mohamed Sahal and Director for ECDE Ahmed Bashir were also present.
The visiting delegation comprised of Ms Lauren Landis, WFP Representative and County Director Emmanuel Bigenimana, WFP Deputy Country Director Ms Pauline Maingi.
The team later visited Bour’argi bee farming, Iftin sub-county hospital and Sankuri group irrigation farmers.
By Jacob Songok