July 20, 2024

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Liberia: Sweden Approves U.S.$38k to Support Consultations for Liberia’s Development Plan

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The Government of Sweden has approved US$38,000 (4,000,000 SEK) to support national consultations for Liberia’s National Development Plan (NDP). The fund will assist the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the Ministry of Finance to implement essential components of consultations at national levels.

The NDP will be a tool used to spearhead development and identify priority areas, and how stakeholders and government can address them.

According to Louis Kuukpen, UNDP Resident Representative, the NDP is essential to fostering a developmental agenda in Liberia within the context of “post-transition polarization.”.

“We are delighted that the proceeds from this agreement garner additional capacities, to ensure that such a national plan evolves from an inclusive consultation process,” he said. “UNDP believes that for the NDP should be a reflection of the aspirations of the people of Liberia and be an enabler of SDG transformation to rescue the SDGs for the remaining years until 2030.”

He added that the NDP would focus on six Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), food systems; energy access and affordability; digital connectivity; education; jobs and social protection; and climate change. He hailed the government of Sweden for the fund.

“This agreement complements ongoing collaborative engagements with the Government and the UN in which the UNDP is playing a pivotal role in ensuring a timely co-creation and production of the national plan before the next national budget, considering the limited fiscal space.”

Urban Sjöström, Sweden’s Ambassador to Liberia, described the signing and support as crucial to helping the country empower its citizens. However, he expressed frustration over the high level of poverty in Liberia.

“We are at quite a rewarding juncture at the time of the signing. We are celebrating the election; we are celebrating the peace. We see the process of justice. But at the same time, I think we are equally frustrated to see the two high levels of poverty in Liberia.”

Sjöström called for change and the need for accountability. “We need to see change. We need to see development and transparency. And that is why we regard this national development plan as so critical. This is a chance for Liberia to come together and prioritize and use the resources wisely.”

Dehpue Yenpea Zuo, Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Ministry of Finance, thanked the government of Sweden and UNDP for the fund. He pledged the government of Liberia’s full support to ensure that all stakeholders are included.

“We want to thank the Swedish government for the opportunity. We want to assure you that we will utilize this fund for its intended purposes.”

By  Liberian Observer.

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