Côte d’Ivoire: Food for Work Project in Action
WFP is supporting a Food for Work project that has benefited many families and led to the reclamation of 164 hectares of rice fields in western Cote d’Ivoire, a region that suffered violence and displacement during 2011. WFP's Food for Work projects pay workers with food to start building a hunger-free future for their communities.
Launched in July 2012, in partnership with COOPAFAN, a local NGO, the WFP-supported Food for Assets project has allowed 88 women heads of families the opportunity to make a living by growing rice. While WFP provides each of these women 44 kg of rice per month in return for their labour, COOPAFAN offers technical expertise and capacity building, as they have never had the experience of working in low lands before.
The goal of WFP Food for Assets projects is to provide food in exchange for work for the poor and hungry to devote time and energy to taking the first steps out of the hunger trap. Community members are given food in exchange for work on vital new infrastructure or for time spent learning new skills that will increase the food security of households or communities.
The same Food for Work project is running in 14 other villages, giving work to 566 families. So far, 164 hectares have been reclaimed.
During the 2011 civil war thousands of families fled western Cote d'Ivoire and took refuge in Liberia. When they came back in May 2012, they found their homes looted or burned down and their livelihoods destroyed. This woman is one of the lucky few returnees who has found work reclaiming farmlands in a WFP-supported Food for Assets project in Téapleu, an Ivorian village near the Liberian border.
The project allows families to fill their food stock and sell surplus rice to cover family needs such as healthcare and education.
After a long hard day of working in the fields, the women celebrate. Through the partnership, WFP and COOPAFAN hope the project - involving 24 agricultural experts and agronomists teaching the villagers new farming skills - will lead to the development of 1029 hectares of rice fields, benefiting 4116 households in 56 villages.