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“Census Impacts Service Delivery at Grassroots Level,” President Weah Says as He Launches NPHC 2021

(Monrovia, Liberia): The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has underscored the importance of national census, stressing that it directly impacts socioeconomic service delivery for citizens at the grassroots level.

 

Launching the National Population and Housing Census (NPHC) 2021 at the Ministerial Complex today, September 25, 2020, the Liberian Leader noted that statistics are important for planning and implementing development programs.

 

He added: “If you cannot measure accurately then you will not be able to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services.”

 

“To address poverty effectively we must use targeted interventions that can be measured, and consult the people about their own development,” the President said. “It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the entire population to come forward and be counted, so that the results of Census 2021 can be used as a tool to improve service delivery.”

 

After the census, the President said, “we will have accurate data for the formulation of policy as well as implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  The results from the census will provide us with a unique opportunity to realign our development strategies, policies and programs.” 

 

In Liberia, the conduct of a census is guided by a constitutional provision that mandates the Executive Branch of Government to undertake the exercise.

 

The Chief Executive asserted that since it is not every government that could conduct a census, the NPHC will be a part of his legacy to the people and country.

 

“In addition to fulfilling this crucial constitutional requirement, the crux of our commitment on this issue is to ensure that development is equitable and in the public interest”, he said and urged citizens to fully cooperate with the exercise as it is for the general good of all.

 

The President said to support a nation’s development efforts, timely, relevant, sufficient and reliable data-sets are required, and the major foundation of this is the census.

 

“A census is usually the largest peacetime undertaking of a government. Because it is very involving and costly, a census is normally conducted only once every 10 years, but its products and tools could be used for over a decade.”

 

He acknowledged that undertaking such a huge national exercise needs a considerable amount of technical, financial and logistical resources.

 

“At this time of our development, with a pandemic looming large, Government cannot provide all the necessary inputs. But we have tried to make the census program happen by doing whatever we can to facilitate the implementation process,” Dr. Weah indicated.

 

He said in May 2019, his Government pledged US$3 million towards the census budget and provided US$700 thousand plus L$48 million as seed money to set up a Census Basket Fund to be managed by United Nations Population Fund (UNPF).

 

“In support of these efforts,” the President said further, “we received further contributions to our Census Basket Fund from several of our international partners. 

 

He thanked the Government and People of Sweden, through their Embassy near Monrovia, for making the first contribution and remaining the highest contributor to the census budget by a US$7.8 million contribution.

 

President Weah observed that Census information has a direct impact on service delivery for people at the grassroots level, stressing “because statistics are important for planning and implementing development programs.”

 

President Weah indicated that it would be very difficult to manage the fair distribution of resources and delivery of services if people cannot measure accurately, adding also that measurable targeted interventions including consultation of the people about their development are needed in order to address poverty effectively. 

 

“It is therefore crucial that we mobilize the entire population to come forward and be counted, so that the results of Census 2021 can be used as a tool to improve service delivery.”

 

He said the launch of the 2021 Census is a key milestone achievement in the government’s development aspiration, which he indicated would enable government, through the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), reach out to each and every household and count the people throughout Liberia. 

 

“This will make us know how many people are in the country, how many are women, men, children, young people and old people; where do they live; how well are they living; how many are educated, and what do they do for a living, etc. This will enable government to plan well and deliver services to our people wherever they are,” President Weah stated.

 

He said the goals of the NPHC was in support of CDC Government shared national development aspirations captured in its formal national development framework, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) intended to guide its drive towards growth, development and prosperity. 

 

President Weah intoned that the PAPD anchors the government’s national development agenda on the foundations of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

 

“It puts the Liberian people at the center of all development processes and helps us to ‘reach the furthest behind first’ and ‘leave no one behind’ as the national development processes ensue.”

 

The President informed partners that Government cannot provide all the necessary inputs especially at this time amid looming pandemic, noting that the government has tried and is doing whatever it can to facilitate the implementation process.

President Weah Issues Proclamation Declaring National Emergency on Rape

(Monrovia, Liberia):The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has issued a proclamation declaring rape as a national emergency.

 

The bold move by the President followed the successful conclusion of a 2-day National Anti-Rape and Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) Conference that was convened by Government to validate the National Roadmap on Rape and SGBV produced by the Inter-ministerial taskforce set up by him a few weeks ago.

 

In remarks at the end of the national stakeholders’ conference on September 9, and following the receipt of the communique derived from deliberations at the conference, the Feminist-In-Chief promised that his administration would move with deliberate speed in ensuring that commendations presented would be judiciously and expeditiously addressed.

 

The declaration of the National Rape Emergency on Friday, September 11, 2020, which has come barely two days out of the national anti-rape conference held on September 8-9, 2020, fulfilled that promise of the President and his zero tolerance stance on rape and SGBV.

 

Under the National Rape Emergency, President Weah declared initial measures that include the appointment of a Special Prosecutor for rape; the setting up of a National Sex Offender Registry; the establishment of a National Security Taskforce on SGBV, and the allotment of an initial amount of US$2 Million to beef up the fight against rape and SGBV in the country.

 

Speaking following the issuance of the proclamation, President Weah said his administration would spare no effort in ensuring that the rape and SGBV epidemic scourging the country is curtailed.

 

The Liberian Chief Executive said additional measures would be announced subsequently including Executive Orders to protect the vulnerable and to ban harmful traditional practices.

 

He urged all Liberians, activists and as well as local and international stakeholders to work with Government to defeat rape and SGBV in the country.

“Let’s Refocus, Readjust UN Priorities,” President Weah Urges World Leaders

(Monrovia, Liberia):The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has stressed the urgency for collective action by world powers to review, re-focus and re-adjust the priorities of the United Nations so that it can become more relevant and more effective in meeting the challenges that are today presented by new global alliances and realities.

 

The Liberian Leader noted that the world has changed considerably since the United Nations came into existence after World War II, and the configuration of powers which obtained when its Charter was first written and upon which its decision-making structures were based, has witnessed many significant transformations over these past Seventy-Five years.

 

“In this regard, more attention has to be paid to inclusiveness of the most vulnerable in our societies, whose special needs require a new and different mind-set,” President Weah said in a visual statement on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 as he addressed the world body’s High-Level meeting in commemoration of its 75th Anniversary.

 

He said Liberia believes that the maintenance of world peace and security is of paramount importance for global growth and development.

 

“Every nation without peace is fragile, and has an uncertain future,” the Liberian Leader said. “Therefore, as we chart a new course for shared prosperity, we must reaffirm our collective commitment to multilateralism. As we confront these new challenges, multilateralism, international cooperation, and global solidarity will become increasingly important in addressing the complex problems that we now have to solve.”

 

Dr. Weah recalled that as part of the process of re-evaluation, the United Nations adopted in 2015 a set of seventeen (17) Global Goals to be met by 2030.

 

“These Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to serve as a roadmap for our collective efforts to bring peace and prosperity to all mankind,” he noted, adding: “We are already five years into the 15-year Agenda, and with only 10 years left, it is already clear that we will have to re-double our efforts and accelerate our actions in many areas if we are to attain any or all of these lofty goals by the end of this decade.”

 

Dealing with COVID Pandemic

 

The UN General Assembly theme this year, “The Future we Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism - Confronting Covid-19 through Effective Multilateral Action”—President Weah stressed that such a theme could not be more appropriate, as the UN celebrates its founding amidst the ravishes of a global pandemic that has infected nearly 30 million citizens of most of its member states, and killed almost one million persons globally in just over six (6) months.

 

He used the forum to disclosed that Liberia was able to build on “our previous experience six (6) years ago with the Ebola Viral Epidemic, and I am proud to say that the Government and its development partners have mounted a robust National COVID Response that seems to have contained COVID-19 for the time being.”


The President further reported to the world body that “as a result, only about 1,320 Liberians have been affected by COVID-19 to date, of which approximately 1,213 of these have fully recovered, with some 82 Liberians falling to the pandemic.


He extended special thanks to Liberia’s bilateral and multilateral partners for the strong support received to deal with the COVID-19 emergency and help sustain the Liberian economy.

 

“The Government has now developed a Post-COVID Economic Recovery Plan that prioritizes short term actions and investments in key sectors such as agriculture and tourism, as a means of reducing the impact of COVID-19 but also providing the basis for economic recovery,” the Chief Executive asserted, acknowledging that the virus has exposed shortcomings, vulnerabilities of world order.

 

President Weah extended his deepest sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families of all those who lost their lives to this deadly disease.

 

Dealing with Socioeconomic Problems

 

He also used the occasion to report on many measures taken by his Government since the 74th General Assembly to deal with the persistent socio-economic problems that continue to beset Liberia.


For example, the President said, the closure of schools to contain the COVID pandemic had seen an unprecedented recent increase in rape and sexual gender-based violence perpetrated upon young women and girls who have had to stay at home but that his government had taken a couple of measures.


“In response to this epidemic within the pandemic, we recently convened a National Conference which involved all Sexual Gender-Based Violence stakeholders”, President Weah said. “This resulted in the validation of a comprehensive roadmap intended to mitigate the incidence of this menace in our society. Based on the recommendations that emanated from the roadmap, my Government has declared rape as a National Emergency, appointed a Special Prosecutor for rape, set up a Sex Offenders Registry, and established a National Security Task Force on Sexual and Gender Based Violence.”
 

On the issue of ending Female Genital Mutilation, he said, “for the first time in our country, traditional leaders have agreed to take ownership for ending this harmful practice. This has resulted into a first-of-its-kind suspension of the activities of all traditional bush schools in Liberia, where this harmful practice is carried out. In addition, we recently passed into law the Domestic Violence Act; a legal instrument that seeks to abolish all forms of violence meted out against women, children and men.”
 

On the issue of corruption, the Liberian Leader reported that in order to call attention to the persistence and prevalence of corruption in our society, a National Anti-Corruption Conference was recently held, which was attended by all stakeholders, in an attempt to find practical and lasting solutions to this age-old problem.

 

President Weah Rallies Liberians to Work for Unity, Peace and Development

(Monrovia, Liberia):The President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. George Manneh Weah, has made a clarion call, urging Liberians to continue to work together in peace and harmony for the collective good of the Country. He said working together for the common good of Liberia is clearly articulated in the National Anthem when it says, “In union strong success is sure”.

 

Making remarks on Monday, August 24, 2020 at program commemorating Liberia’s 105th Flag Day, the Liberian Leader said our flag is a symbol of patriotism and national unity.

 

“Let us put aside our differences and come together as one people, placing the national interest above personal and partisan interests,” Dr. Weah said in a short statement.

 

He recalled that since the Liberian flag was first unveiled to the world 173 years ago to mark the birth of a new nation on the African continent, the Lone Star’s banner has come to symbolize the deeds and valor of our forefathers, to whom we remain constantly indebted.

 

 “We cannot fail if we are united and continue to work together,” the Liberian Leader stressed. 

 

“Today marks the 105th occasion when we celebrate the making of our most important national symbol, the Liberian Flag, with a National Holiday, as decreed by our National Legislature in 1915”, Pres. Weah recounted.

 

Continuing, the Liberian Chief Executive said the flag has come to represent the pride and dignity of the Liberian people, and to symbolize the hopes and aspirations of all Liberians, with its patriotic colors and design of red and white stripes and a white star on a blue background.

 

“This occasion presents yet another opportunity for us to reflect on our collective actions as a people, and steer a united course for the continued betterment of our nation,” the President noted, urging Liberians, both at home and abroad, to join forces for the good of the nation.

 

Dr. Weah congratulated the National Flag Day Orator, Hon. Mamensie Kabba, Assistant Minister for Administration, Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection, for delivering an inspiring and insightful message.

 

President Weah described the Orator’s message as very uplifting, particularly in these times as Liberia and the rest of the world battle the COVID 19 pandemic. 

 

The Liberian Leader committed himself to do all that is within his powers to turn over to the orator’s generation, the young people of Liberia, a country they would be proud of.

 

This year’s ceremony was held at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town.