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WFP distributes food to 250 quarantined families

OCTOBER 20, 2014 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Public Information Officer of the World Food Programme (WFP) last Thursday (October 16) disclosed that the United Nations agency is currently distributing food to a total of 250 quarantined families in Western Area Rural.

Djaounsede Pardon informed newsmen in Freetown that 35,700 Ebola affected people in isolated communities in the Western Area, Port Loko, Bombali, Kenema, Kailahun and Moyamba have already been provided with foodstuff.

“WFP aims to expand its operation in November and December when coping with mechanisms of urban and rural poor will be overstretched. In June this year, we shifted from country programme to emergency assistance,” he said and added that during the September 19 to 21 ‘Ose-to-Ose Ebola Tok’, they were able to reach a total of 205,700 people with large scale food distribution.

According to him, the outbreak is starting to have an impact of people’s ability to feed themselves because assessments carried out with an innovative technique using mobile phones showed a deteriorating family food security in the districts of Kailahun and Kenema.

With regards transportation, Mr. Pardon stated that in support of the Ebola emergency response in the country, they have increased their transport capacity to more than 70 trucks to provide adequate cargo capacity to the rural level.

He continued that they are also supporting the government by procuring 74 World Bank-funded vehicles, including ambulances, mortuary vehicles and pickup vans.

“We have increased our warehouse capacity to accommodate distribution of food to quarantined households, EVD patients and other vulnerable groups. Six mobile storage units are being established per site to accommodate the influx of supplies to scale-up Ebola treatment capacity,” he disclosed.

He concluded by saying that a congested airport, due to slow customs clearance, low level of emergency operation funding and labour intensive demand for food distributions to Ebola-affected families are some of the challenges they are being faced with in the distribution of food.

Also, WFP Country Representative, Gon Myers, spoke about the difficulty they are having in getting information about those that have been quarantined, especially in the Western Area.

According to him, they sometime receive correspondence from the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for the supply of food few days after a house or village has been quarantined, but stressed that they have enough food to provide for those quarantined and affected by the Ebola disease.

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