The Sustainable Development Goals in Liberia
The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. The UN in Liberia, the Government and Partners are ensuring that the 17 SDGs are achieved in Liberia although emphases are attached to those relevant to the country context.
24 July 2023
Liberian Farmers Receive Farming Equipment through the Accelerated Community Development Programme
UNDP, with support from the Liberian government, has donated equipment, basic farming tools and post-harvest processing machines to farmers in three of the 15 counties. The equipment aims to help enhance their labor capacity in making use of large-scale and a more mechanized approach to farming as compared to subsistence farming, which is more labor-intensive and time-consuming. The beneficiary counties include Bong, Rivercess, and Gbarpolu. The equipment included14 tractors and trailer, over 18,000 pieces of assorted basic farming tools, including rice, cassava, sugar cane milling machines, thirty-four sets of post-harvest processing machines, and a rice thresher were also turned over to the beneficiary communities at a ceremony on Thursday, July 21. “The tools and equipment, valued at over US$600,000, will add value and help expand the agricultural base of each of the communities, thereby addressing the ultimate challenge of food insecurity,” UNDP Liberia Resident Representative, Louis Kuukpen said at the event. “They will be distributed to identified cooperatives and individual farmers in beneficiary communities in the targeted counties.” The Liberian agricultural sector, like many other African countries, is still faced with huge challenges, key among these being low productivity due to lack of innovation. Many African farmers are still engaged in subsistence farming due to lack of access to modern farming equipment — a situation that is contributing to the acute food insecurity on the continent. The farming equipment and tools are donated under the auspices of Accelerated Community Development Programme (ACDP) — an ambitious five-year initiative launched by President George Weah in November 2022 with a commitment of 100 million United States Dollars for the first three years, 2022-2025. President Weah, who launched the programme last year at the UN Day celebrations, noted that the ACDP will have an immediate impact on reducing poverty while accelerating socio-economic development in rural communities. The ACDP is also expected to accelerate the repair of 39 handpumps and construction of 14 new handpumps and additional 5 solar powered multipurpose boreholes in new communities. The programme will also construct storage and processing facilities fully equipped with offices for agricultural cooperatives; construct 10 decent gender sensitive toilets, and procure additional basic farming tools.
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24 July 2023
Farmington Declaration- Independent Candidates Sign Agreement
Independent Aspirants for the 10 October 2023 General Elections Friday, July 21st 2023 signed the historic Farmington River Declaration committing themselves to ensure that the election is conducted free of violence. Political Parties have also signed the Farmington River Declaration. The colorful program held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town was under the direct auspices of the National Elections Commission (NEC), in collaboration with the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The Chairperson of the National Elections Commission, Madam Davidetta Browne Lansanah spoke about the need for all aspirants to respect the Commission and all of its Regulations and Guidelines as provided for under the law. UN Resident Coordinator Christine Umutoni, speaking at the occasion, called on Liberians to ensue elections are peaceful. She reminded Liberians of the past election cycles that were held under a peaceful atmosphere which got international acclaim and was used as examples for other countries to emulate.
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17 August 2023
THE SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECREATRY GENERAL FOR UNOWAS, MR LEONARDO SIMÃO CONCLUDES A THREE-DAY VISIT TO LIBERIA, CALLS FOR INCLUSIVE, PEACEFUL AND DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Leonardo Santos Simão, concluded today a three-day visit to Liberia. This visit was part of his regional familiarization tour, following his appointment as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel. The Special Representative was received in audience by H.E. Georges Weah, President of Liberia, and had meetings with Mr. Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Frank Musah Dean, Minister of Justice, and members of the National Elections Commission. He also held discussions with Youth and Women organizations, members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the diplomatic corps, and the United Nations country team. To all his interlocuters, Mr. Simão reiterated the commitment of UNOWAS and the United Nations Country team to strengthen their partnership with Liberia, and to continue working with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and other members of the international community, to support Liberia’s path towards lasting democracy, peace, and prosperity. During his visit, the Special Representative also participated in the stakeholder forum that took place on 15 August in preparation of the upcoming presidential elections to be held in October 2023. He commended all stakeholders, and called on the presidential candidates to uphold their commitment for the implementation of the Farmington River Declaration which paves the way for an inclusive, peaceful, and democratic process. He stressed the responsibility of all stakeholders to educate their supporters to the rules of good conduct demonstrating their responsible leadership. The Special Representative encouraged all actors to harness the positive force of Liberian women and called on Liberian youth to continue playing a positive role as agents of peace.
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05 July 2023
UN in Liberia host beneficiaries of Jewel Starfish Foundation
Led by Christine Umutoni, UN Liberia Resident Coordinator, this was an extraordinary meeting of empowerment, resilience, determination and a shared vision of hope. Formerly from West Point, a disadvantaged area in Monrovia, the youth were formerly considered at risk youth. Now they are shining students ready to forge a better life and be an example to others. Beneficiaries gave moving stories of inspiration and were urged to continue their strive for a better future. The Resident Coordinator and UNCT urged the young women to consider themselves as victors and not victims in society. Stating that the" sky is no longer the limit", Ms Umutoni encouraged them to "go forth and shine the light for others". RC Umutoni noted that, "it was a great pleasure to welcome young girls from the Foundation to the One UN House and presided to give them a tour of the agencies along with the UNCT.
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12 July 2023
UN Human Security Trust Fund Project impacts communities in North Central Liberia
The United Nations in Liberia is jointly implementing the United Nations Human Security Trust Fund Project “Building Resilience of Youth, Women and Vulnerable Groups using Social Protection Floor with ITC”. The project is being implemented by FAO, ILO, UNDP, UN Women and WFP, with support from the International Telecommunications Union(ITU), in three counties in Liberia-Bong, Lofa and Nimba. In this light, a three-day Human Security Workshop on Digital technology with emphasis on establishment of Smart Villages, kicked off yesterday in Gbarnga, Bong County with participants in high spirit. The workshop, which takes place from July 11-July 13, is expected to bring together 40 participants from local authorities, facilitators and beneficiaries from the communities. The workshop hopes to deepen the understanding of Smart Villages and digital technology and explore its role in the broader development context, particularly in agriculture, health, finance and market. “At the beginning of this project, we did not even know what the SDGs were but thanks to this project, we now know about the 17 sustainable development goals and how they impact our lives.”, Ms Quinisier, Commissioner of Forquelleh, Bong County. Another beneficiary expressed her appreciation for the impact of the project, “Thanks for giving our people the chance and means to cross the bridge of poverty and into prosperity”. She noted that in her community, forty-two women, youth and persons with disabilities, can now manage financially because of the support through training and start-up capital provided by the initiative through the Start and improve your Business (SIYB) initiative. The UN Resident Coordinator, Christine Umutoni, in her remarks during interaction with beneficiaries, encouraged them to strive for entrepreneurship. She noted that “no one can make Liberia better, besides Liberians themselves”. She noted that entrepreneurial capacity of 264 vulnerable young women and men on how to start and improve their business have been built using the SIYB tools, 264 medium-size businesses have been established for inclusive economic and human development in six of the nine selected project communities and an awareness sessions conducted on the concept and importance of human security and how to mainstream the concept in county and national development agenda. She also acknowledged the efforts of the government of Liberia and the UN agencies for the progress of the project that covered the wider consultations with national and international stakeholders (Government, Private Sector, CSOs and ITU) on the SMART Village Concept, the conduct of a digital assessment in all three project communities with the objective of identify digital gaps and the infrastructure requirements for the implementation of the Smart Village Initiative, field assessment at the district and community level to identify and assess the existing conditions of beneficiaries and community engagement workshop on SDGs-related issues and how to digitally address them for inclusivity has been conducted. She also stated “the SMART Village concept is where the digital technology will be used to promote community-driven e-agriculture (particularly weather and extension services) including food system planning, implementation, and management - education and skills development, livelihood strategies such as income generation, cooperative administration, and health service including health insurance for women, youths, and the vulnerable population. Given the importance of access to markets and finance services in rural communities, these will be given priority in the digital endeavor to be co-created by you all working with private and public sector digital technology actors. “ The project will complement UNWOMEN Digital Platform – “Buy from Women” that connects smallholder farmers to information, finance, and markets – that is currently being developed.
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