The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) conducted a national validation exercise on the proposed ‘Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development’ (PAPD).
The five-year (2019-2023) Agenda, according to Deputy Finance Minister for Fiscal Affairs Samora Wolokollie, is about strengthening people’s capacity to thrive and seeks to draw all Liberians at home and abroad into the national development process.
Speaking at the opening of the national validation exercise of the ‘Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development’ (PAPD) in Paynesville, outside Monrovia, Minister Wolokollie said the PAPD also seeks to address the basic needs of Liberians- income, security, better access to basic services and greater opportunities for self-improvement in an enabling environment that is inclusive and stable.
“In reaching that goal, the focus over the next five years (2019-2023) will be on removing binding constraints…The Pro-poor Agenda seeks to craft a national identity that we believe when fully implemented would have a positive impact on all Liberians regardless of their social and economic statuses,” the acting Finance and Development Planning Minister said.
He noted that within the next 12 years, Liberia seeks to become a leading middle-income economy that will significantly reduce poverty through higher levels of decent employment, preserve its ecological balance and build strong and stable governance systems.
The PAPD is a successor to the Agenda for Transformation 2012-2017 (AfT), a document that was informed by lessons learned from the implementation of the Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy 2007 (IPRS) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011).
UNDP Assistant Country Director and Team Leader of the Sustainable Economic Transformation Pillar (SET), Dorsla Farcarthy said the formation of the PAPD was important to UNDP because it marks the end of its five years Country Programme Development cycle called United Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF).
“The process is so critical to us so, at UNDP, we provided support, from the County consultations to the technical review and today we are here for another milestone achievement which is the validation. It’s critical to us because it will inform our own UNDAF process and our CPD (Country Programme Document) and then it can lead to our own strategic plan,” Mr. Farcarthy said.
He said UNDP places high premier on the development and finalization of the PAPD and promised to remain engaged and supportive of the entire process.
“So, as you go through these processes, we want to assure that we will be with you as we have been from day one and we will be with you to the last; because we are interested in the final product of the document,” Farcathy added.
The UNDP Assistant Country Director encouraged the participants to thoroughly validate the document in the best interest of Liberia and its people ensuring that ‘their wishes and aspirations are well articulated in the final document for ownership and inclusiveness.
In the overview, Deputy Finance Minister for Budget and Development Planning Tanneh G. Brunson said the PAPD is a continuation of the Government’s development agenda and is the second in the series of 5-year National Development Plans in line with long-term visions.
The national validation exercise brought together representatives from the fifteen counties, including superintendents, civil society organizations, women and youth groups, development partners, government ministries and agencies among others.