Monday, November 22, 2010

64% Liberians Live In Abject Poverty-National Human Development Report Finds

- M. Welemongai Ciapha II
Source: FrontPage Africa

As the Government of Liberia (GOL), is grappling to cope with the hard economic reality to achieve its goals and objectives in implementing the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), a report of the National Human Development (NHD) on Liberia’s progress of the PRS, has revealed that 64% of Liberia’s 1.3 million people are still living below the poverty line.

The 2010 Report was launched over the weekend by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP).

This means that of the 1.3 million people in the country, 64% of the population cannot even afford US 1.00 a day to feed their families. Despite the vast natural resources as well as the proliferation of companies operating in Liberia, many Liberians have become potential beggars on the streets of Monrovia.

The 2010 Report was launched over the weekend by the Government of Liberia (GOL) in collaboration with the United Nations Development Progamme (UNDP).

The ceremony which took place at the Monrovia City Hall, was also characterized by poor attendance of Government officials, but well attended by students from the various schools.

The Report highlighted that other indicators are grim reflecting the country’s legacy of destruction, population displacement, and disruption of basic services as a result of the 14 years of bloodbath.

Speaking on behalf of the UN family at the launch of the Report, Mr. Muostahpa Soumare’, Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UNMIL said, the 2010 report on Liberia’s achievements towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) shows some positive progress.

Mr. Soumare’ stressed that there are many critical challenges that frustrate the sizeable changes and reforms that Liberia needs, which he noted are not obvious to the human eye.

In spite of the positive recognition of Liberia’s efforts toward achieving MDG Three, Mr. Soumare’ noted that maternal mortality figures remain a major concern.

The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General observed that two such challenges provide the focus for Liberia’s 2009/2010 NHD Report, under the theme, “Shared Growth with Special Emphasis on Infrastructure and Agriculture”.

After careful scrutiny of the Report, Mr. Soumare’ asserted that the absence of rural and urban infrastructure have hampered development in the country, adding, ‘it is disheartening to hear stories of food and goods rotting by the road-side, instead of making it to the market, because of the conditions of roads’.

From his own observation of some of the deplorable roads in rural parts of the country, such as Lofa, Nimba and the southeast, Mr. Suomare’ expressed disappointment, due to the economically costly nature of traveling by road.

Recognizing how conclusive development can be achieved in Liberia, Mr. Suomare’ disclosed that this can only be done by equitable distribution of the resources and a shared civic responsibility to address the many challenges facing the country.

“These reports underline the need for a joint effort and investment from the local communities, the private sector and Government, and further commitment and support from development partners,” Mr. Soumare’ observed.

However, Mr. Sando Wayne, who spoke on behalf of the Vice President of Liberia, Hon. Joseph N. Boakai, described the launch as a history making for Liberia.

In 2008, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), conducted the Housing and Population Census, which showed that Liberia has a population of 3.5 million people.

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Inside Liberia with Bernard Gbayee Goah

Everyone is a genius

Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah


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