Sustainable Nutrition and Agriculture Promotion (SNAP+) Program

Supporting Vulnerable Households Recover from the Ebola Crisis

Summary

In April 2015, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (FFP) awarded ACDI/VOCA the Sustainable Nutrition and Agriculture Promotion Plus (SNAP+) program, a one-year, $9 million short-term emergency response program with the goal to support vulnerable households to recover from economic shocks that resulted from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) crisis in Sierra Leone.

In early 2014, Sierra Leone identified its first confirmed cases of EVD, which eventually spread to the Kailahun, Bombali, Tonkolili, and Koinadugu districts, where ACDI/VOCA has been implementing the FFP-MYAP Sustainable Nutrition and Agriculture Promotion (SNAP) Program since June 2010. The situation rapidly escalated into a crisis, and the government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) responded by implementing restrictions on public gatherings and closing schools in the Kailahun district in June 2014—declaring the country in a State of Emergency (SOE).

The lack of basic infrastructure, including facilities, logistics, and communications resulted in the virus spreading rapidly throughout the country. As of August 30, 2015, Sierra Leone had recorded 13,609 confirmed cases of EVD and 3,953 deaths. Fear of the disease coupled with government-imposed restrictions under the SOE and their timing during the peak agricultural season have impacted the economy by disrupting farming activities and markets, particularly in remote areas, and led to a general decline in nationwide economic activities and food security.
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The SNAP+ program supports vulnerable households as they recover from economic shocks resulting from the EVD emergency by doing the following:

  • Reducing negative coping strategies by ensuring that vulnerable households can access food available in local markets and provide children at risk of malnutrition with locally produced food supplements to boost protein and nutrient intake
  • Increasing agricultural production and food security at the community level to support early recovery through access to production inputs, technical assistance, and stable prices in local markets
  • Assisting agribusiness enterprises to overcome financial shocks caused by EVD so they can resume provision of agricultural inputs and access to markets.
  • Cash Transfers: In collaboration with government institutions, partner NGOs, and local community structures, ACDI/VOCA is implementing a cash transfer program targeting extremely poor households in the Kailahun, Bombali, Tonkolili, and Koinadugu districts that have been affected by the EVD crisis.
  • Food Supplements: Children between 2-59 months identified with or at high risk of MAM are screened and provided with Sierra Mix, a locally manufactured nutritional supplement.
  • Food Production: Expand agricultural production by supporting farmers in the 2015 planting season with small packages of inputs and production training.
  • Jump Start Grants: The program offers recovery grants to small agribusiness enterprises heavily impacted by EVD so they can resume providing inputs and other services to producers and other key actors within key agricultural value chains.
  • Prior to cash transfers, a Rapid Market Assessment was conducted in the Kailahun, Bombali, Tonkolili, and Koinadugu districts to determine how the Ebola crisis had affected rural markets, and specifically if they were able to meet increased demand with rapid cash influx.
  • Cash transfers to 13,522 beneficiaries were successfully completed across all three targeted districts. In addition, SNAP+ was instrumental in developing and co-chairing a Cash Transfer Working Group enabling organizations and donors to coordinate efforts and harmonize approaches.
  • 2,024 children with or at high risk of MAM were provided with remaining stocks of SNAP Title II food commodities and additional screening is ongoing to provide those receiving it with Sierra Mix, a locally made nutrient supplement.
  • Farming groups formed under the Government of Sierra Leone’s Smallholder Commercialization program were assessed and 285 of them consisting of approximately 23,800 farmers received seed packages through a voucher program to re-start stalled production.
  • An Agribusiness Enterprise and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) jump start grant program has been developed with applicant finalization in progress and implementation scheduled to start.

ACDI/VOCA also has a relationship with PICS in Kenya, through its AflaSTOP program, which has a major focus testing the efficacy of hermetic storage (including PICS bags) to arrest the growth of aflatoxin in maize. As part of this, AflaSTOP conducted the largest trial to date of small-scale agricultural grain storage devices, a multi-year effort, the results of which are summarized at a high level in this graphic and will soon be submitted for a scientific journal publication.  AflaSTOP has also supported the local distributor of PICS in Kenya to address some supply chain and marketing issues to improve the availability of those bags in rural areas.


Learn more about AflaSTOP’s research into hermetic storage and aflatoxin.

Funder: USAID
Budget: $9,000,000
Contact: Maz Fawzy, MFawzy@acdivoca.org