Kumbungu (N/R), GNA - The World Food Programme (WFP) under its food aid programme last year assisted more than 100,000 people facing hunger in the country with food rations, including 35,000 victims of civil conflict from Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire.
In its Country Programme, the WFP provided supplementary feeding to 60,000 malnourished mothers, children and schoolgirls in 17 districts in the three Northern Regions.
Mrs Trudy Bower Pirinis, Country Director of the WFP disclosed this at the launch of the OIC/ WFP Partnership for Livelihood Initiative for Food and Empowerment (LIFE) programme between the WFP and the Opportunities Industrialisation Centre International (OICI) at Kumbungu on Thursday.
The partnership between the OICI and the WFP seeks to pool the resources of the two organizations together to empower vulnerable communities in the Northern Region by equipping them with skills and training to build their capacity and improve upon their income generating activities.
Mrs Pirinis said in its supplementary feeding, health, nutrition and educational activities, 21,000 malnourished children and 17,000 pregnant women were assisted with a package of food items and services in 120 nutrition centres.
Mrs Pirinis said as a result of the supplementary feeding in the nutrition centres, the centres have been transformed into pre-schools with most the children now showing academic achievements in the primary and junior secondary schools.
She announced that the WFP would soon launch a programme to support the Savannah Resources Management Programme to assist 150 communities in the area depending on the forest reserves for their livelihood.
She said through its food for work programme, the WFP would support the communities to construct dams, reservoirs and dugouts and give them the necessary training to establish fruit trees plantations and thereby providing them with secure and sustainable livelihoods.
Mrs Carla Dominique Denizard, Country Representative of OICI/Ghana said the collaboration between the two organizations would allow OICI to provide training to WFP women beneficiaries in areas such as rice processing, groundnut oil extraction, guinea fowl rearing, pottery making, beekeeping, entrepreneurship and business management, while WFP would complement their activities with cash and a food for trainees. In the promotion of environmental security and natural resource management, OICI and WFP would be working together on nursery establishment and reforestation activities and also implement post-harvest loss reduction programmes.
Mr Charle Bintin, Deputy Northern Regional Minister who launched the programme commended the two organizations for helping to reduce the poverty level among the people of the North, particularly in their interventions in the area of food security.
He assured the two organizations of the assistance of the Regional co-coordinating Council and urged the District Assemblies to extend a similar hand of cooperation to the WFP and OICI.
He appealed to the staff of the two organizations to educate the people in the communities in which the work to ensure that the up-coming general elections were devoid of violence.