Bago Dety Hontace, Gboh Alphonse, and Lamy Benel Aubin are all Ivorian refugees living and farming in Bahn Camp, Nimba County, who have benefited from a vegetable production initiative supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO.
The refugees, mainly women, are appealing to FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, and local implementing partner SERE (Special Emergency Relief for the Elderly) to provide additional support in vegetable and also rice production to enable them achieve greater self-reliance. “I have two children, all girls with no husband. One child is in school and the other is deaf. The people supported us here to grow corn, okra, bitter balls, and pepper.” She praised the quality of seeds, hand tools, and fertilizer but said she had to sell most of the vegetables to support the children thus leading to a food availability gap for her family. “We get some food aid, but it is not enough. We need to continue to produce our own food.”
Gboh Alphonse lauded FAO and partners for the vegetable production support that helped him support 8 children and sold the surplus to buy additional hand tools to ease work labor. Lamy Benel Aubin said: “Please come to us again. Refugee life in the camp is difficult. We want to enlarge the size of our farms but cannot do without outside help.”
Under the ECHO-funded Project, “Emergency Food Security Assistance for Ivoirian Refugees and Affected Host Communities in Liberia”, Phase III farming activities started late 2011, tailored directly for about 37,500 individual (or 7,500 households) Ivorian refugees in Bahn Camp as well as refugees and host Liberians elsewhere in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, and Maryland Counties. In Nimba County, the project was located in a dozen communities (including Bahn Refugee Camp) benefiting 500 households. All eight beneficiaries groups located in the Camp have completed harvests and are now preparing for the next planting.
ECHO is the European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO). It is a key FAO partner mainly in emergency interventions and agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation.