Liberia’s First County Service Center Relieves Citizens’ stress

More women flood the Center on a daily basis to obtain birth certificates for their children.

The Government of Liberia, through a European Union Grant contribution, is facilitating the actualization of County Service Centers (CSCs) in eight counties.

Highlights

  • About 70% of those receiving birth certificates are women.
  • Statistics provided over a reporting period and released last year in August showed that Birth registration for children 0-12 years topped the list of services offered at the Center with over 392.
  • The Service Center now reduces the difficulty faced by many rural dwellers in accessing services related to obtaining work permits, marriage and birth certificates, land deeds, business permits and registration among others.
  • Additional Service centers are expected to be established sometime in 2016 in Lofa, Nimba, Margibi and Bong Counties

This is being carried out under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program or LDSP managed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Liberia. Other partners include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Mission in Liberia (UMMIL) and the Government of Sweden.

Dedicated in 2015, the operation of the first County Service Center in Buchannan, Grand Bassa County has now reduced the difficulty faced by many rural dwellers in accessing services related to obtaining work permits, marriage and birth certificates, land deeds, business permits and registration among others.

According to residents, the establishment of the Center in Buchanan City relieves them of the   ‘stress’ in accessing these important services.  They lauded the Government and UNDP for taking governance closer to the people of Grand Bassa County and surrounding areas.

Statistics provided over a reporting period  and released last year in August showed that Birth registration for children 0-12 years topped the list of services offered at the Center with over 392, followed by psycho-social interventions -265, business registration 106 and traditional marriage certificates 100.

Women are the greatest beneficiaries of services currently at the county service center. For example, about 70% of those receiving birth certificates are women. Citizens, mainly women are normally seen lined up with their children to obtain birth certificates.

Martha Tarr, mother of three, is a resident of Grand Bassa County. She is among several women who had arrived at the Center early morning to obtain a birth certificate for her one and half year old daughter.

“I want to thank UNDP and the Government for bringing the Center here. Now, we will not have to travel to Monrovia to get birth certificate for our children….” Martha said.

Martha said the Center has taken off the “stress” of spending money on transportation and other fees to access such services.

With funding from the European Union and Managed by UNDP, the CSC is a one-stop shop set up under the Liberia Decentralization Support Program (LDSP) to ensure that major documentation services are accessible to rural residents including Rivercess, Montserrado, and Sinoe.

According to the Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf, four additional Service centers are expected to be established sometime in 2016 in Lofa, Nimba, Margibi and Bong Counties as part of a roll out plan of ensuring that similar services are made available to more rural residents.

At the Center, line Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACS), through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, oversee the processing and issuance of certificates, licenses, permits and other important documents used by various sectors of the Liberian society.

 

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