LIBERIA: President George Weah launches ambitious USD100 million programme to accelerate community development

Monrovia, Liberia; 24 October 2022: Liberia’s President H. E. George Weah on 24 October launched an ambitious Accelerated Community Development Programme (ACDP) that is designed to help Liberians climb out of poverty, improve their living standards, live a healthier and longer life while reducing gross inequalities between rural and urban areas. The Programme will focus on poor people with limited access to basic social services and infrastructure in rural and urban areas.

The Government of Liberia has already invested USD3 million to help initiate the project this year in a show of its commitment and determination to improve the country’s overall human development. The government aims to mobilize USD100 million for the first three years of the programme 2022 to 2025.

With support from UNDP, the Government of Liberia is currently negotiating with other development partners to secure the full financing needed to lift all Liberians out of poverty before the year 2030.

“The Accelerated Community Development Programme is a flagship programme of the Government of Liberia situated in the Office of the President meant to benefit all Liberians that will be implemented with involvement of communities by producing tangible benefits for the people of Liberia,” said H. E. President George Weah during the UN Day celebrations at the One UN House in Monrovia.

President Weah will chair the Steering Committee of the Programme.

UN Resident Coordinator Niels Scott said the UN in Liberia will increasingly focus more of its work “downstream” at county and community level in order to ensure that every person in Libeia enjoys development goals.

The Accelerated Community Development Programme (ACDP) is designed to meet the felt needs of people living in poverty by improving access to water and sanitation, clean, affordable energy, building and repairing rural feeder roads, health clinics, schools and vocational training centres, market facilities, irrigation systems, as well as provide agricultural tools and equipment to farmers to help increase food production. The programme will generate short- and long-term jobs for local workers who will be contracted in construction and rehabilitation projects. Communities are expected to make in-kind contributions to the projects to demonstrate ownership.

“The ACDP will be one of Liberia’s largest investments in community development since the end of the civil war. It is about helping to reduce inequality and increase access to basic social and economic services particularly for poor Liberians living in rural areas. This is at the heart of the SDG agenda – our aim is to ensure that no one is left behind in Liberia’s growth and development no matter who they are or in which part of the country they are,” said the UNDP Liberia Resident Representative, Stephen Rodriques.

About half (50.9%) of the people in Liberia live in poverty; the situation is worse in rural areas (71.6%) compared to urban areas (31.5%). Food insecurity is also precarious, with about half of the people in rural areas (50.9%) being uncertain about getting their next meal compared to 28.1% in urban areas. While electrification is generally low in Liberia, the situation in rural areas is dire with only 3% of persons having electricity.

The programme draws on the successful experiences of countries such as Senegal, Togo, and Gambia. First piloted in Senegal, the programme has been effective in enabling countries to boost rural development and reduce poverty and inequality.

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