UNMIL supports conflict prevention and peace consolidation through increased food security

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9 Feb 2018

UNMIL supports conflict prevention and peace consolidation through increased food security

9 February 2018, Monrovia – The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) launched a three-month project aimed at enhancing conflict prevention and peace consolidation through increased food security in the fishery sector. It will be implemented by the National Fish Farmer Union of Liberia (NAFFUL) in collaboration with the National Aquaculture and Fisheries Authority (NAFA) and Fiamaba Fisheries Development Cooperation.

This pilot project is being rolled-out in the towns of West Point, Montserrado County and New Kru, Grand Bassa County; targeting 350 direct beneficiaries - 280 male and 70 female artisanal fishermen; and 10,500 indirect beneficiaries – 4,000 male and 6,500 female fish sellers including war affected youth (Zogos), community members and marginalized vulnerable groups.

“Food security is key to national development. To accelerate youth development in Liberia, it is important to promote fish farming through agro-business investment and youth participation. This would enhance conflict prevention and peace consolidation” said the Youth Development Officer of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mr. Joseph Johnson.

Considering that food insecurity has proven to be both the cause of conflicts and consequence of violence in Liberia, this project focuses on reducing poverty and food insecurity among artisanal fishing communities. Beneficiaries will receive training on modern fishing techniques and fishing materials to strengthen their production capacity and access to domestic and external markets. This project will also support the establishment of functional cooperative systems to improve fishermen’s access to credit while empowering them to play a greater role in decision making processes.

The UNMIL Chief of Peace Consolidation Services, Mr. Francis Kai-Kai stated that UNMIL is pleased to support the fishery sector because food security and human security are crucial aspects for overall peace consolidation. He mentioned that the Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties are targeted due to the high concentration of fish farmers along the coastal regions.

“This project will introduce new technology which we hope will contribute to an improvement of the fishery sector. We also hope that after building the capacity of young people through training, they will contribute effectively towards development of the sector” said Mr. Kai-Kai.

“Although UNMIL is leaving at the end of March 2018, the United Nations will still be present in Liberia. I urge development partners to continue supporting the government in its efforts to strengthen the fishery sector” he added.

This project was funded through UNMIL assessed funding.