Liberia: DSRSG Affirms UN Support for Implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy

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Monrovia, Liberia - January 7, 2010: The Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Recovery and Governance and Resident Coordinator of the UN system in Liberia, Mr. Moustapha Soumaré, has presented a consignment of agriculture implements and computers valued at $55,000 USD to two development organizations and the Bangladesh - Liberia Friendship Center in Ganta, Nimba County. The organizations include the Bain Clan Development Council and the Ideal Domah Town Project.

Making the presentation at a well attended function in Ganta on Wednesday, Mr. Soumaré said "the presentation of the farming implements is an affirmation of the long standing aim of the United Nations to support member states, to become self-sufficient in food production".

He commended the Bangladeshi contingent in the county for supporting local development initiatives which he said are intended "to empower the local communities to develop new knowledge and skills for self-improvement and the development of the communities at large".

Mr. Soumaré, who is also UNDP Resident Representative, noted that the farming implements and computers were funded under the United Nations Human Security Trust Fund through the generosity of the Japanese government. He appealed to beneficiary communities to use the equipment wisely and for the intended purpose, to improve vocational skills and increase food security.

While in Nimba, Mr. Soumaré and delegation, accompanied by local government officials, visited the modern correction palace building under construction in Sanniquellie. He commended UNOPS and the local contractors for the level of progress and cautioned local authorities to take ownership of projects implemented by the United Nations in their county, in order for them to be sustained after they are handed over.

Mr. Soumaré and delegation also visited the Dokodan Farmers Cooperative Society in Gbedin, upper Nimba County. Over 75 local farmers are benefitting from the Purchase for Progress (P4P) project, supported by WFP and the FAO, which is intended to connect smallholder farmers to markets for their farm produce.

In his interaction with the local farmers, most of whom are women, Mr. Soumaré commended the Government of Liberia for taking the leadership in the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). He said the measure of progress in any nation depends largely on the level of food security. He assured that the United Nations family will continue to support the implementation of the PRS and the County Development Agenda with the government taking the lead.