Meeting the Stars
Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi II Woods says Liberia's revitalization initiative requires "the cooperative participation" of all Liberians including its foreign partners.
Speaking at the interactive forum on a World Bank report on social protection and a discussion on cash transfer experiences at the Mamba Point Hotel in Monrovia on October 1, 2009, Minister Woods said although Liberia has experienced institutionalize hostility and criminal gang output for decade and a half, the process of transformation and the building of basic social services that will impact the lives of Liberians is aggressively sought.
He said the issue of management of Liberia's resources has been the critical barrier for the past few years, but assured Liberians that the current ongoing development is irreversible. "Key things that happened over the past few years are the way in which our resources had been structured to benefit the ordinary Liberians. The administration of President Sirleaf is working beyond the clock to attract the needed foreign assistance to boost our limited resources", Minister Woods outlined.
Minister Woods who is also the head of pillar IV; Infrastructure and Basic Services under the Poverty Reduction Strategy of Liberia thanked Liberia's foreign partners including World Bank for their continuous supports in the reform agenda of Liberia. He said while some Liberians choose to blind the reality about existing development in the country, others are increasingly seeing the rewards and challenges of various safety net intervention, and hopefully making progress towards sustainable safety net system, critically embedded within workable institutions.
Also speaking at the program, World Bank Country Manager in Liberia Mr. Ohene Nyanin revealed that an estimated 69% of the population live below poverty line and 48% in extreme poverty. He said during fiscal year 2009, World Bank lending for safety nets reached over $3 billion in 29 countries, seven times the annual average.
"Safety nets are especially important now. The food, fuel and financial crisis are the latest in a series of shocks which are affecting poor people across the World. These shocks can reverse years of painfully slow progress in the global fight against poverty and cause irreversible damage to those living on the margin", Mr. Ohene asserts.
Safety net program according to the World Bank Country Manager in Liberia can play four broad roles. He named the roles as safety nets redistribute income to the poorest and vulnerable, with an immediate impact on poverty and inequality; safety nets help household manage risk; safety nets can enable households to make better investments in their future; and safety nets allow governments to make choices that support efficiency and growth.
The advisor on social protection at the World Bank Harold Alderman and Deputy Health Minister Joseph Geebro made separate presentations on protection and promotion of safety nets and social welfare policy.
The Informer (Monrovia)
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