Gov’t, Partners Strengthen UNFPA Coordination

The government, through the Population Policy Coordination Unit (PPCU), Secretariat of the National Population Commission (NPC), on Friday, August 7, held a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) partners’ coordination meeting for UNFPA project implementation partners.

Held under the theme, “Putting Human Face to Development,” the meeting brought together 30 participants from key agencies of government and representatives of none-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Mr. Daniel W. Garteh, Coordinator, PPCU Secretariat of NPC, informed participants that their presence at the meeting virtually qualified them as parts of government’s efforts to bring positive changes in the lives of Liberians.

Mr. Garteh appreciated the participants’ collaborative efforts in putting human face to development in the country, especially the interventions they made when they joined the fight against Ebola through spreading of anti-Ebola messages, providing items related to the fight, etc.

The meeting was held with funding from UNFPA in support of the participants, who are population policy implementers on behalf of the government that will bring quality lives to the citizens.

“The meeting was geared towards providing progress report through which PPCU would want to know the progress the implementers made during the period under review, your challenges, the lessons you learnt and what you would recommend as solutions to some of the challenges you may have encountered,” Mr. Garteh told the participants.

Dr. T. Edward Liberty, the director-general of Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) in a special remark, extended gratitude to the participants on behalf of the government, and its partners including the United States, the World Health Organization (WHO), and all UN agencies that worked hard in the fight against the Ebola virus disease (EVD), which plagued the country last year.

LISGIS, he said, has been working strategically by providing the relevant data to the government and partners since the outbreak of Ebola in March, 2014; stands out as the foremost research institution, tasked with collecting and disseminating official statistical and spatial information/data for Liberia.

“Related to the Ebola fight, LISGIS national move has been focused on the gathering of spatial Research and Analytical data aimed at building EVD emergency response,” Dr. Liberty told the participants.

He said, LISGIS’ role does not only support an emergency response to the Ebola fight, but looks at developing a road map of Liberia’s recovery from the socio- economic and health impacts of EVD on the country with reference to the projects.

Dr. Philderarld Pratt, UNFPA Assistant Representative Liberia, promised to work with the partners or the participants to improve and or manage any future outbreak should there be any suck like the Ebola virus.

Participants represented by the Ministries of Health, Gender and Development, Youth and Sports, etc. presented papers of the first quarter reports of the implementation on the challenges, achievements, lessons learnt and recommendations to the UNFPA for review.

Plan To Combat SGBV, Harmful Traditional Practices Disclosed

By: Roland Davis-0776107962

The Government of Liberia and the United Nations Joint Programming Initiative to Prevent and Response to issues Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence and Harmful Traditional Practices in Liberia have designed a five- year strategic plan to deal with such situations in Liberia.

The five- year strategic plan program will run from July 2015 to July 2020, according to organizers.

This plan was disclosed at a meeting held recently at the RLJ Hotel, outside Monrovia, organized by UN Women in Liberia, facilitated by the Liberian Government and other UN agencies.

The meeting was aimed at finding a way forward for the implementation of the program in Liberia for the next five years, organizers indicated.

Giving  an overview of the strategic plan during the meeting, one of the facilitators, Patricia Jallah Scott, said the  plan is a proposal designed by the government and UN agencies intended to help build around a community-based approach, supported by five strategic pillars to prevent, response to SGBV cases and the issue of harmful traditional practices, particularly for Liberian girls.

Madam Scott indicated that the strategic plan is to also provide basic approach to the prevention, response to   survivor needs, safety, and protection in education, institutional strengthening and visibility or mass mobilization campaign against SGBV and harmful traditional practices in the country.

She noted that the program will help in protecting Liberian girls, including school- going population of the country, but called on the general public to collectively support the implementation of the program.

Madam Scott said the strategic plan has also been designed through a developed approach in local and consultative approach, including community dialogues conducted in ten of the fifteen counties of the country.

She said this was intended as a means of ensuring that the SGBV joint program builds on community solutions, informed by a robust context specific analysis of needs, based on communities’ knowledge and existing protection strategies, as well as disaggregated understanding of the diverse threats and opportunities within Liberia.

Madam Scott also noted that the approach was also intended to provide legal or policy analysis as well as institutional reviews to identify legal and policy enablers and the institutional readiness and capacity; a mapping of actors as an opportunity to strengthen synergies and avoid overlaps and duplication.

Meanwhile, also at the meeting, the organizers disclosed an estimated amount of US$50m as budget to be used for the implementation of the program in five years.

The meeting brought together several organizations, including government agencies, civil society groups, traditional council, UNDP, local media entities, WHO, UN Women, UNHCR, UNMIL,  UNFPA, among others.

The project is also facilities by the Ministry of Gender and Development, The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Information Cultural, Affairs and Tourism and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.