U.S. Ambassador Richard Norland participated in a virtual briefing on April 8 led by the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Country Director, Samer AbdelJaber, who provided an overview of WFP’s crucial food aid for vulnerable families in Libya. Mr. AbdelJaber also described WFP’s ongoing coordination with the National Center for Disease Control, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs, local municipalities and other Libyan authorities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
WFP distributes food assistance to over 100,000 vulnerable persons throughout Libya each month, including internally displaced persons, returnees, female-headed households, and migrants living in urban settings. As food needs increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WFP is making every effort to step up its response while simultaneously adopting hygiene best practices throughout its programs. In the last year, WFP has worked closely with the Ministry of Education to distribute nutritious snacks in schools. Now that schools are closed, WFP and the Ministry are sending take-home rations to more than 18,000 schoolchildren. In cooperation with the National Center for Disease Control, the agency has also repurposed a WFP-managed call center to serve as a COVID-19 information channel, sharing health guidance with thousands of callers.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports WFP in Libya with funding for UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) operations, which provides critical aviation services in support of the international assistance community operating in Libya. The United States was the largest donor to WFP’s global programs in 2019, contributing over $3 billion to fight hunger around the world.
Follow @SamerWFP on Twitter to learn more about WFP’s activities in communities across Libya.