Despite the United Nations Mission in Liberia’s (UNMIL) successful completion of its mandate and subsequent departure in 2018, Liberia remains with many challenges. The country is ranked 176 out of 189 countries on the 2019 UNDP Human Development Index, with an HDI value of 0.465 for 2018 placing it in the low human development category. Liberia is also the 19th most fragile country (out of 58 fragile countries, according to the 2018 OECD Fragile Framework), facing severe multidimensional fragilities with respect to the political, economic, environmental, societal and security dimensions.
External support remains crucial in helping to address some of the challenges and risks faced by the country, with potential ramifications for peace and stability in Liberia and the sub-region. The Government looks to the UN Country Team and donor community to receive direct and indirect budgetary and technical support to address the political and economic fragility.
The UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) has been supporting peace consolidation and national reconciliation in Liberia since 2008 by strengthening security sector and legal reforms, building the capacity of civil authorities, and promoting human rights, gender mainstreaming and economic empowerment, among others. In early 2019, the PBF provided US$ 5 million seed funding under its Peacebuilding and Recovery Facility (PRF) through the Liberia Multi-Partner Trust Fund (LMPTF), to support peacebuilding priorities consistent with the government’s peace and development framework Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF). The funds are being channeled through qualified UN agencies to support the Government with the help of three interventions: the empowerment of disadvantaged youth; sustaining peace and improving social cohesion through the promotion of rural employment opportunities for youth in conflict prone areas; and advancing reconciliation through legislative reform and civic engagement. The below table provides a brief overview of these three projects. A fourth project provided startup capital for establishing the LMPTF and funding its Secretariat.