WFP to launch food-for-work programme

Scores of unemployed day labourers will benefit from WFP's food-for-work programme
(Lynn Maung/IRIN)

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with its implementing partners, will soon begin an ambitious food-for-work programme for thousands of Cyclone Nargis survivors.



The programme aims to rehabilitate local assets and restore livelihoods in affected communities, and will target 40,000 participants and 200,000 beneficiaries in Myanmar’s badly affected Ayeyarwady Delta.



“Food-for-work activities can make a significant difference to food-insecure residents of the delta, and at the same time help households rebuild their individual and community assets,” Chris Kaye, WFP country director for Myanmar, told IRIN in Yangon, the former Burmese capital.



WFP is currently screening projects proposed by its partners, with expected project sites to be announced soon.



The programme is set to begin at the end of January and run till the end of April, with a focus on the construction, repair and maintenance of roads, and the construction of wells, dykes, dams, ponds and drainage ditches.



Reforestation, land clearance and irrigation projects will also be included. Individual projects will last 15-45 days.



These activities will play a critical role in restoring food security in the wake of Nargis, which left close to 140,000 people dead or missing in May 2008.



“From this programme, each participant will receive 4kg of rice per day as family rations,” Zin Aung Swe, a WFP programme assistant, explained.



Participants will include those left particularly vulnerable by Nargis, including landless farmers, jobless day labourers and female-headed households.



Cash-for-work



Plans are also under way to implement a cash-for-work programme in a few months time in the cyclone-affected townships of Yangon Division, including Kunchangone Township.



Under the scheme, some 500 people will participate, with around 2,500 beneficiaries.



Programme participants will receive 2,000 kyat (US$1.6) per day in return for labour intensive activities to benefit local communities.



“We’ll evaluate our [food-for-work and cash-for-work] activities, and then will decide whether to expand our programmes or not,” Zin Aung Swe said when asked whether the programmes would be extended after April.



“Pockets of concern”



Studies conducted in the delta now show positive results of the food aid provided thus far.












Road-repairing will generate household income for thousands of landless farmers in Myanmar's cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady Delta

Lynn Maung/IRIN
Road-repairing will generate household income for thousands of landless farmers in Myanmar's cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady Delta ...
http://www.irinnews.org/photo
Friday, December 26, 2008
WFP to launch food-for-work programme
Road-repairing will generate household income for thousands of landless farmers in Myanmar's cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady Delta ...


Photo: Lynn Maung/IRIN
Road-repairing will generate household income for thousands of landless farmers in Myanmar's cyclone-affected Ayeyarwady Delta

According to preliminary results of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)/WFP Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission, overall food security in the area was improving, and humanitarian agencies were making progress in helping cyclone-affected people restore their livelihoods.



“However, there are pockets of concern where food and other assistance continue to be needed,” said Kaye, adding: “WFP will carry on responding to these needs by implementing both relief and recovery activities.”



Seven months after the cyclone, the agency has begun shifting its focus from relief food provision to early recovery, as well as helping to rebuild livelihoods in the delta, once the country’s rice bowl.



Food-for-work activities, along with a supplementary feeding programme targeting vulnerable populations, would be a pillar of WFP’s recovery activities in 2009, Kaye said.



The Periodic Review, the first of three such assessments released on 19 December by the Tripartite Core Group (comprising the Myanmar government, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the UN) said food aid had reached every surveyed community along the path of the cyclone. Indicators of food vulnerability showed a clear impact in areas where food aid efforts had been concentrated.



Nonetheless, it said food insecurity persisted in some areas.



“The problems facing the recovery of food production [including seed quality and harvest] and purchasing power may take some years to address. Food insecurity around Yangon and Pathein [a township in the delta] may be a result of chronic problems, rather than directly from Cyclone Nargis,” it said.



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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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