Liberia: LISGIS Vows Transparency in Food Distribution

The Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services or LISGIS assures Liberians that the pending distribution of stimulus food package to residents will be carried out with complete transparency.

LISGIS deputy director general for information and coordination, Wilmot Smith says the task before the institution to conduct enumeration in preparation for the food distribution will be executed transparently.

Speaking to "Prime Morning Drive" Tuesday in Monrovia, he explained LISGIS enumeration teams will consider total number of family heads in each household, including total males and females per household, saying, "we will also be asking for the number of vulnerable people living in that particular house; all of those are intended to show transparency."

He continued that this will be followed by age category. "We will be marking and taking the head of every family photo; when that is complete, our work is to compile all of those information, package them and send them to the rightful authority; they will decide what next to do."

LISGIS is charged with the responsibility to formulate and implement national strategies, programs and policies for the development and management of a National Statistical and Geo-Information System and an integrated gender and environment sensitive National Statistical and Spatial Database in Liberia.

Mr. Smith also disclosed the team will look at structures, whether they are temporary or modern structures, zinc or mud hut, noting that some people live in containers, while others live in mud houses.

The Steering Committee of the COVID-19 Household Food Support Programme (COHFSP) early this week announced there would be delay in the distribution exercise for few weeks due to several issues beyond its control.The Committee had earlier set 23 May 2020 as the commencement date for the distribution.However, Committee Chairman Professor Wilson Tarpeh, remains optimistic the targeted food distribution to COVID-affected households would begin as soon as budgetary and financial procedures are completed.

Professor Tarpeh further clarified in a press release that the food assistance programme won't be rolled out by 23 May as initially planned, primarily because the budget confirmation process by the Liberia Legislature requires careful, consultative, and legal ramifications that cannot be done within a day or two.

President George Manneh Weah presented a US$25 million stimulus package to the 54th Legislature after he declared a State of Emergency and 14 days lockdown in initially four affected counties: Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Kru.The Legislature, thru a Joint Resolution, approved and extended the State of Emergency to 60 days, but instructed that the food distribution should cover all 15 counties, a decision that has rendered the government financially stranded.

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