The United Nations Development Programme under its Rule of law Project, has turned over 13 motorbikes to Civil Society Organizations working with communities to promote access to justice in Liberia.
Worth over USD $22,000 dollars, support to civil society organization is given a priority particularly for the NGOs and CBOs which were considered weak to effectively support UNDP to roll out the legal aid programme as well as to monitor the performance of justice and security institutions in Liberia especially in the remotest places and hard to reach areas.
Funding support under the Rule of Law Joint Programme, “Strengthening the Rule of Law in Liberia, comes from development partners-Sweden and Ireland.
At a brief handover facilitated by UNDP, Elizabeth Harleman, Head of Cooperation of the Swedish International Development Agency and Rachel Fitzpatrick, Charge d’ affaires of Ireland urged recipients to take responsibility for the full maintenance of the motorcycles in order to respond to the needs of the beneficiaries accessing services through the Rule of Law project.
Harleman and Fitzpatrick underscored the need to use the bikes to regularly monitor integrity institutions under the justice system, thus ensuring that services reach the most vulnerable population.
They underscored the challenges associated with bad roads, noting that the use and maintenance of the assets will boost access to service providers by beneficiaries.
Reiterating the comments from his colleagues from Sweden and Ireland, UNDP Resident Representative Pa Lamin Beyai stressed that maintenance of the bikes remains the full responsibility of the Civil Society Organizations, thus, they must not be used as personal assets but exclusively for the project.
“These bikes are not to be used to transport goods and people, but for full monitoring of integrity institutions under the Justice sector, holding them accountable to the work that they do,” Beyai noted.
Dr. Beyai, praised development partners Sweden and Ireland for being extremely supportive of UNDP Programmes. “Sweden and Ireland are two of our best partners in the implementation of various projects across the country,” the UNDP Boss proudly intimated.
Comments also came from the Office of the High Commission on Human Rights through its Country Representative Uchenna who appreciated the partnership with UNDP, Sweden and Ireland. Uchenna assured that his Commission will continue to promote the partnership and urged CSOs to add value to the work that they do in order to achieve the best results.
Recipients of the assets expressed appreciation to UNDP and its partners for the gesture. Rural Integrated Center for Community Empowerment (RICCE), Program Manager, Renee Gibson assured that they are committed to the work of adding value to the implementation of the justice and security programme.
Speaking earlier, interim Chief Technical Advisor under the UNDP Rule of law Project Rowland Cole mentioned that building capacities to monitor justice and security institutions to strengthen a framework that would demand accountability from service providers is pivotal to the implementation of the overarching strategy of the project.
Rowland stressed that the project is committed to achieving outcomes under the Sustainable Development Goals of leaving no one behind.
“In addition to Goal 16, the project recognizes that Goal 5 which speaks to Gender Equality is also a critical component in the implementation of various justice and security programmes across all sectors,” Cole pointed out.