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“The Invisible Enemy” part three Liberia

Liberia, March 2015


 With its expertise in logistics, WFP has beengiven the job of coordinating logistics for the entire humanitarian communityinvolved in the Ebola response through the logistics cluster. For example the WFP logistics team in Monrovia built four Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) as well as other units in other areas of the country. In Monrovia the grounds of the Samuel K. Doe Stadium were designated to host the ETU’s as well as the logistics cluster warehouse where items pertaining all the humanitarian players involved are stored, dispatched and managed by WFP.

 With the confirmed cases steadily decreasing it was decided that WFP with support from the German Red Cross (DRK) and the German army would transform one ETU into a Severe Infection Temporary Treatment Unit (SITTU) to fill a gap in infectious disease care. The SITTU is designed to accept patients with symptoms consistent with EVD but not yet confirmed—an important gap to cover, given that much of the Liberian health system ceased providing non-Ebola related health services during the acute stages of the outbreak. A second ETU has been transformed into a major training center for new health workers that will be deployed around the entire country

The SITTU accepts both walk-ins and referrals from other health facilities. Once at the SITTU, patients who test positive for Ebola will be transferred to an ETU; patients who test negative will be treated for other infectious diseases. Those with no symptoms will be transferred to a health facility. The SITTU is intended to improve the level of clinical care for infectious non Ebola affected patients as well as reducing risk for non-Ebola affected patients who may otherwise seek care at an ETU.

 In the photos:

1. The entrance of the SITTU

2. A child under treatment collects his lunch from a slide that ensures that there is no unnecessary contact between patients and health workers.

3. The Impressive logistics cluster warehouse managed for all agencies by WFP.

4. Workers gather for an early morning meeting to explain what needs to be done to prepare the base for the approaching rainy season.

5-6. Marie M. Kamara is a WFP staffer who operates and maintains the fork lifts at the logistics base.

7. Workers move supplies to prepare a raised flooring to prevent rain waters form wetting valuable material.

8. Outside the great storage tents workers are digging channels to allow the rainwaters to flow easily away during the rainy season.

Bomi County, Liberia

Tombekai village in Bomi County has a population of 124 persons.  The village suffered from the deadly Ebola virus like many other villages in Liberia

According to the County Health Team and the villagers, three persons died from the virus in this village with just one female survivor, Miatta. 

The livelihood of this village is farming which has been greatly hampered since the outbreak of the virus.  During the early part of the outbreak, many of the villagers fled for fear of being quarantined.  Eventually, all of the villagers returned to Tombekai thanks to WFP food intervention and because it was recommended by the County Health Team, Ministry of Health. 

People from the village walked three hours to clinic in Beh Town which is the biggest town close by.  Children are also starting resume school once the schools are declared safe and compliant to the Ebola prevention protocol enforced by the government with the support of the entire humanitarian community. The children in Tombekai that attend the Upper primary classes (4th to 6th grade) walk three hours every morning and three in the afternoon to get to school in Beh Town and back.  Fortunately for the kindergarten and the lower primary classes its only about an hour walk to school. 

 In the photos:

9-10. Prevention and good health practices are the key to getting to zero cases.

11-13. Once the people have washed their hands and have had their temperature taken they are allowed into the distribution area four at a time where their registration is checked and they receive their food ration worth one month.

14. Nothing goes wasted, the children collect the plastic rings that seal the oil cans that WFP is distributing and make a fun game out of them.

15. Among the people in the village that got infected with Ebola Miatta (52) is the only survivor. After all that she has been going through Miatta still has an amazing smile and actively participates in helping organize the WFP food distribution to her fellow villagers.

Bomi County, Liberia

Vincent Ward Public School

 Photos 16-19

This school is one of the 54 schools assisted by the WFP school meals programmes in Liberia. The programme currently targets 127,000 pupils in 10 of the 15 counties in Liberia. 

Following the Ebola outbreak the government decided to close the schools as a preventive measure to avoid the transmission of the disease in the scholastic environment.

Now that the pandemic is under control the government has allowed the schools that are compliant with the protective measures to start reopening. Schools can begin opening over the period between 16 February to 2 March 2015

Current enrolment situation as at 9 March 2015 is of 290 pupils which is below the regular attendace rate for this school. Some parents are still fearful that it might be risky to send their kids back to school while other parents are registering their children.

Community engagement is key to successfully controlling outbreaks. Good outbreak control relies on applying a package of interventions, namely case management, surveillance and contact tracing, a good laboratory service, safe burials and social mobilisation.

 Photo 20

It is thought that fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are natural Ebola virus hosts. Ebola is introduced into the human population through close contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected animals such as chimpanzees, gorillas, fruit bats, monkeys, forest antelope and porcupines found ill or dead or in the rainforest.

All photographs: WFP/Rein Skullerud


Liberia, Dolo Town, 9-10 September 2014

WFP is scaling up its response to the Ebola virus to provide assistance to around one million people affected by the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, delivering food alongside the health response. WFP is also assisting the wider humanitarian community with logistics, helping other organisations to get aid workers and critical supplies into the affected areas.

The Ebola virus in Western Africa is threatening not only lives, but also food production. If we fail to act now, entire communities could miss the harvest season.

WFP has never faced so many emergencies at once.

Your support is urgently needed. Please donate lifesaving food assistance for a

family now. Donate here

These Photos show a WFP food distribution in Dolo Town.

Aaron Sleh WFP staff with Paulina from the Bomi county health team are currently assisting over 100 affected families in her area. Paulina said “there is need for a concerted effort form all aid agencies in collaboration with the government to defeat this disease”.

Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud (@reinskullerud)


Life under Ebola quarantine - in pictures

As health authorities attempt to halt the spread of Ebola in Liberia, many citizens are struggling to feed themselves. People who have lost members of their household to the virus are often confined to their homes for weeks, making it difficult to collect food and other essentials. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food to families in quarantine in 10 counties across Liberia

01: People gather at a WFP food distribution at West Point, a large seafront slum in Monrovia where more than 75,000 people live. On 20 August the slum was quarantined overnight. When the area was locked down, there were protests as people could not get out to work or buy food. The tight spaces and dense population made food distributions challenging.

02. Junior A Kiazolu collects food for three families all related to him and needing his help. He counts himself fortunate that no one in his direct family has contracted the virus.

03. A wheelbarrow laden with sacks of rice, bags of split peas and cooking oil reaches Kiazoluís home. This is the first food ration he has received but he is certain more will be needed.

04. Like most other families in West Point, Kiazoluís wife Grace cooks on a simple stove outside. Due to the quarantine restrictions, food supplies are not getting in and, unlike in rural areas, there are no garden plots.

05. Humanitarian workers distributing food in Ebola-affected areas need to take additional health and hygiene precautions. Morris Farnbulleh, a WFP staff member, oversees distributions in West Point. People collecting food rations must wash their hands with chlorinated water first, and frontline staff are provided with gloves, masks and rubber boots.

06. This school in Dolo Town is closed, leaving 900 primary schoolchildren at home. The schoolyard is the site for food distributions for 17,000 people. While people largely accept these measures, their patience is wearing thin. People are concerned about being unable to work and feed their families.

07. In Dolo, some people wear a paper tag bearing their body temperature recorded twice a day. This community measure aims to encourage trust in an area where people have died from Ebola and the fear of infection is real.

08. Fatu Yargaya encourages her daughter to eat rice outside their small mud hut. Fatuís husband Emmanuel makes a living cutting and gathering wood, but he is not working because of the restrictions on movement. Fatu looks after her three children and sells charcoal at the market. With only that income, the family barely manages to survive.

09. Miatta Kaiwu, 16, has lost both her parents to Ebola. Her entire household (three families) is under medical observation and their movement is restricted. WFP and the county health team are providing food supplies for more than 100 people like Miatta who are not allowed to leave their homes.

10. Miatta with her own one-year-old baby and her six-month-old sister. She is now their sole carer.

11. When Benjaminís wife became sick he left his driving job in northern Liberia to care for her until she died on 3 September. He and the other family members who helped with his wifeís burial rituals are now confined to their home. They are waiting for 21 days of quarantine to pass, hoping that none of them are infected.

12. Benjaminís children have been sent to stay with his relatives. They are thankful for receiving food assistance but say they have other needs as well. They are not allowed to leave the house so are unable to collect firewood or buy charcoal for cooking.

Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud (@reinskullerud)

Source: The Guardian - global-development

Monday 22 September 2014 12.57 BST



Top Photo:

Chad, Kanem region, Mother and Child Health Center in Wadjgui, 24 September 2012

Mothers bring their children to the health center where they are measured using the MUAC system and weighed to assess their nutritional state. Mothers that have children that are just under the standard measurements receive a ration of Super Cereal and oil.

Bottom Photos:

Chad, Abeche, 27 September 2012

In the regional hospital of Abeche moderately and severely malnourished children receive supplementary food from WFP and medical treatment through UNICEF.

Via the World Food Programme the European Union provides food assistance to mothers of moderately malnourished children and mothers of acutely malnourished children, the latter also receive additional food rations to bring home in order to feed the children they have left behind  for the period of time they will spend in the hospital with their malnourished children.

Left Photo: Moderately malnourished child being measured and weighed to assess the condition.

Right Photo: This mother of five has been in the hospital with her youngest daughter for four days and said she is thankful that she managed to send food home for her other four children.

Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud


Bangladesh: Working To Enhance Resilience to Natural Disasters and Climate Change

Top Photo: As a first step, WFP approaches ultra-poor men and women to identify community assets that they regard as the most useful to increase their resilience to natural disasters and the effects of climate change. Possible projects include the construction or repair of canals, ponds, roads, and embankments.

Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

Bottom Left Photo: Training sessions are scheduled during the monsoon season, when work is made difficult by heavy rains. Participants learn about disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and survival during crisis.

Photo: WFP/GMB Akash

Bottom Left Photo: In the third year of the programme cycle, female labourers and wives of male labourers participate in business development trainings which prepare them to receive a cash grant for investment – thus strengthening their families’ economic resilience. In 2013, approximately 17,200 women will receive such a grant to be invested in income generating activities such as livestock rearing, agricultural crop production or small-scale business ventures. For twelve months, they will also receive a monthly cash allowance to cushion their family economy while they focus on their investment.

Photo: WFP/Rawnak Matin


Burkina Faso, October 2012

Burkina Faso, is a landlocked country with borders that touch six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d’Ivoire to the southwest. It has few natural resources, a weak industrial base and relies heavily on cotton and gold exports for revenue.  The economy is barely diversified and largely dependent on the primary sector.

The WFP Country Programme constitutes a shift towards innovative approaches for sustainable hunger solutions, with emphasis on supporting local economies and national structures. The objective is to ensure food and nutrition security, particularly for women and children, in a context of climate change whereby disaster prevention and preparedness become critical elements of poverty-reduction policies. All activities take into account WFP’s gender policy. WFP assistance will reach an average of 560 000 beneficiaries per year in 3 regions (Sahel, East and North), characterized by structural food insecurity, high rates of chronic malnutrition, low school enrolment, illiteracy and low attendance of health facilities. More than 80 % of the food distributed is purchased locally.

Photos: WFP/Rein Skullerud