UNDP/Japan Regional Project Convenes Coordination Meeting In Liberia

Jun 22, 2017

The Regional Post-Ebola Project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with support from the Government and people of Japan has concluded a two-day regional coordination meeting in Monrovia.

Among others, the project aims to support regional institutions’ operational capacities; regional early warning responses, mechanisms and policies; local governance in cross-border areas; local authorities, communities and civil society capacities; strengthened for economic opportunities and promotion of local development; and social cohesion, dialogue and peacebuilding in the four Mano River Union (MRU) Countries i.e. Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea (that were affected by the Ebola outbreak) and Cote  d’Ivoire.

Speaking recently at the two-day event, UNDP Country Director, Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai appreciated and applauded the government and people of Japan for supporting many projects in the country and the sub-region. He added: “In addition to this Regional project, Liberia is a beneficiary of a few of Japan funded projects”, including the just ended US$3.6m Enhanced Border Surveillance Project.

Dr. Beyai said UNDP attaches importance to decentralization and strengthening of local capacity, infrastructure, and the economy; as well as allowing people to effectively participate in taking decisions and implementing projects that affect their well-being. “The evidence is the critical role played by the communities in the Ebola response in the various countries… Worthy of specific mention is the need for economic empowerment of women and the youth, and their full participation in decision-making processes. Hence the importance of this project,” the UNDP boss added.

Dr. Beyai further stated that UNDP and the various governments and people of the Mano River Union (MRU) deeply cherish the long-standing relationship with the Government of Japan.

 He said although the project had challenges at the early stages of implementation, its accelerated approach of engaging more Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to work concurrently has turned out positive. The commitment and hard work of CSOs in the counties, to help better appreciate the situation on the ground, design tailor-made solutions and enhance local governance, capacity and development, were equally applauded.

In an interview, Roosevelt Woods, Executive Director of the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) said the two-day coordination meeting afforded them the opportunity to share remarkable successes and challenges of the project in the different countries. FIND is one of the implementing CSOs of the Regional Post-Ebola Project.

“Looking at this project, though very short, it had a very serious impact in terms of strengthening capacities in the rural areas and we hope that in the future we will have some post intentions that will require additional awareness, engaging our local authorities to be able to address pressing social-economic situations we have in our country….” Mr. Woods said.

He said the project, on the overall was successfully implemented despite the numerous challenges. The FIND Executive Director expressed appreciation to the Government and people of Japan through UNDP for the support.

The two-days coordination meeting seeks to assess progress, identify challenges, and formulate strategies to overcome, as well as share experiences.

To ensure the successful completion of the remaining activities, and collaboration among partners, and stakeholders; UNDP with the national partners, including County Authorities’ plans to hold Citizens’ engagement sessions later this month.

The project is being implemented in Liberia by the Agency for Economic Development and Empowerment (AEDE); the Foundation for International Dignity (FIND); the Peace Building Organization (PBO) of the Ministry of Internal affairs (MIA); Platform for Development and Peace (P4DP) and the Search for Common Grounds (SCG).

As the Ebola outbreak ended in 2016, UNDP, with support of national and regional partners, developed this regional project funded by the Government of Japan to support the three Ebola affected countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia) and Côte d’Ivoire.

The project addresses residual cross-border recovery needs within the Manu River Union (MRU), and assists governments and affected communities in the areas of health service provision, social and economic governance, peace building and security.

It also focuses on economic opportunities for women, by providing gender-responsive support services where and when possible.

It strengthens women’s agency by building their ability to act on opportunities, and by challenging harmful socio-cultural norms that make women vulnerable.

The project helps to strengthen coherence and coordination capacities between sub-regional institutions and the UNDP Country Offices of the region on cross border recovery and resilience initiatives to better assist border communities.

Contact

For further information, contact:

Eric Opoku- Community Development Specialist/E-mail eric.opoku@undp.org Tel +231-770003839

Augusta Pshorr –Communications Analyst E-mail: augusta.pshorr@undp.orgTel: +231-770-003-819/886-521-425

Sam Zota –National UNV Communications Associate Email: sam.zota@undp.org Tel: +231-886-474-563/770175162