UN Deputy Envoy urges more donor support for Liberia’s County Development Agendas

UN Resident Coordinator, Jordan Ryan Addresses Participants at Launch of County Development Agendas in Bentol City.
Photo: Christopher Herwig, UNMIL

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Bensonville, Liberia – UN Deputy Envoy Jordan Ryan has called on development partners to give more support to Liberia through the recently concluded County Development Agendas – CDAs – which he described as, “the hope agenda through which to lift Liberia out of poverty in the medium-term”.

The Deputy UN Envoy was speaking at the launch of the CDAs, hosted by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who stated, “The Government must respond to the needs of the people; the CDAs are a development pact – an agenda between the people and the government.”  She stressed that implementing and monitoring the agendas would require the participation of all citizens.  

The CDAs are local plans and projects, such as improved roads, education facilities and clinics, recently formulated through a consultative grassroots process carried out across Liberia.  “The process entailed 132 district consultations between June 2007 and February 2008, as well as workshops across the country, demonstrating the government’s commitment to hearing the voices and priorities of ordinary Liberians,” said Mr. Ryan, who is also the UN Resident Coordinator in Liberia.  

The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Recovery and Governance commended the “many women and men, young and old, some who walked for days from inaccessible areas” to participate in the public forums.  He further stated that public participation and ownership should help shape the vision of a ‘Liberia that is at peace, unified, secure and with people who are prosperous, regardless of ethnic background, religion or gender, having equal access to justice, economic opportunities, improved infrastructure and social services”.

“The UN Family is committed to remain engaged in supporting development at county level” he said, and urged the international partners to “harmonize interventions in order to foster greater alignment and national ownership”.  He also called on communities “to be engaged in monitoring progress to see to it that “the bridges, clinics and schools they prioritized are on course.”

The launch of the CDAs coincided with a visit by a number of development ministers from donor countries who had attended a special session of the Liberia Reconstruction and Development Committee, convened by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday to discuss “Aid Effectiveness in Post-Conflict and Fragile States.”

Besides the support of the UN Country Team, the CDAs consultations have been supported by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), the Government of Ireland, the World Bank, the European Commission and other partners.

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