Liberia: Senate Vote to Establish Food Assistance Agency

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MONROVIA – The Plenary of the Liberian Senate has passed a bill granting the National Food Assistance Agency autonomous status.

Senator Darius Dillon of Montserrado County is the proponent of the bill.

The Senate’s decision resulted from a report from the Committee on Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry.

The Committee in its report submitted Tuesday, January 25, 2022 during the 5th day sitting recommended that Plenary grants the National Food Assistance an autonomous status.

Based on the report, a total of 16 Senators voted individually in favor of the committee’s recommendations, while two voted against.  The motion to pass the bill was proffered by Bong County Senator Prince K. Moye. 

 In June 2021, a bill was proffered by Senator Abraham Darius Dillion  of  Montserrado County  to  the Plenary  of the  Liberian Senate  seeking a Legislative action to  transform  the  National  Food Assistance Agency  to an  Autonomous Agency.

Senator Dillon acknowledged that the agency’s function and responsibilities are very vital to the food security of the   nation.

He indicated in his communication that  the NFAA was established  by an Executive Order in the  70s and has  been  operating  with  the  statutory mandate  to coordinate   all  food  assistant  programs on  behalf of the  Government of Liberia.

The Committee also indicated that the NFAA be financed through the Budget of the Republic of Liberia and donor partners.

At the same time, the Committee noted that the Government of the Liberia intends to encourage investment in such sector to ensure sustainable development  and  realization of food security in  line with goal number one of   the  sustainable Development  Goals (SDG) of  the  United   Nations which seek to  end  global poverty by 2030.

The  Committee’s report, however,  states that the  Government  of Liberia and its international partners endeavour to  strengthen  Agro-Liberia Institutions to  take responsibilities in the  management  storage and distributions of food commodities to the  ultimate  Liberian beneficiaries.

The  National Food Assistance Agency  has the  mandate  to  address the  disturbing  issues of food  insecurity  in keeping with global  efforts spelled out in goal two  of the  global SDGs aiming  to end  poverty by 2030. The Global hunger index (GHI) serves as an indicator in determining the alarming level of hunger in a particular region of the world.

Meanwhile the bill has been sent to the House of Representatives for concurrence. 

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