The Liberian Agricultural Upgrading, Nutrition, and Child Health (LAUNCH) project, a Title II, Multi Year Assistance Program (MYAP), concludes this month. ACDI/VOCA has been implementing this USAID/Office of Food for Peace (FFP) project since 2010 in partnership with Project Concern International, John Snow Inc., and Making Cents International. It is one of six ACDI/VOCA projects in Liberia.
LAUNCH trained farmers on environmentally sustainable production techniques, used a value chain approach to help them identify market opportunities, and communicated health and nutrition strategies to prevent malnutrition and promote household and community health. LAUNCH also distributed supplementary food rations and increased opportunities for youth to become agroentrepreneurs.
Here’s a roundup of LAUNCH successes, by the numbers:
- 154,993 people reached, almost 10 percent of whom are children
- 1,952 hectares under improved cultivation techniques
- 360 farmer training groups formed
- 28,250 people with access to improved drinking water
ERRP Activities Mitigate Ebola’s Negative Effects
Thanks to LAUNCH, we had a strong presence in Bong and Nimba counties when Ebola spread to Liberia in March 2014. Because of our experience in the area, USAID/FFP awarded ACDI/VOCA a one-year Emergency Response Program called the Ebola Recovery and Resilience Program (ERRP), after the government declared a state of emergency in September 2014.
ERRP, which concludes later this year, aims to alleviate the negative economic impact of the EVD crisis in Liberia. Through the lean season, ERRP helps vulnerable households through cash transfers and a cash-for-work (CfW) program. ERRP has reached nearly 10,000 households with monthly transfer of US$50, nearly 9,000 households via Ecobank, and over 1,000 households via a mobile money platform. Vulnerable households—those with very young children (6-23 months), pregnant and lactating women, savings and credit groups, and those affected by Ebola—receive the monthly payments.
ERRP also reached over 6,000 households with essential farming inputs including seeds, tools, and irrigation treadle pumps through an agriculture input fair. Under ERRP’s CfW component, project participants have rehabilitated over 200 kilometers of farm-to-market roads. In all, ERRP has reached over 88,000 people against its target of 100,000 through its cash transfers, cash for work activity, and input vouchers.
Together, LAUNCH and ERRP are improving food security and economic activity among Liberia’s vulnerable populations. The two programs demonstrate the agility of ACDI/VOCA’s programming to adapt quickly to disease outbreaks and other unexpected events to protect and empower those most in need.