Monrovia, Liberia; 21 July 2022: As Liberia reels from the effects of global crises such as the war in Ukraine and COVID-19, the Government of Liberia, with support from UNDP and other development partners, is developing a program Accelerated Community Development Program (ACDP) to reduce poverty and inequality in rural areas and keep the country on track for the Sustainable Development Goals.
The program will provide short and long term employment by involving local communities to develop and/or maintain key social and economic infrastructure such as rural feeder roads, boreholes and wells, markets, off-grid electricity and health centers.
Technicians from various government ministries, agencies and commissions are meeting in Bas Margibi over the next two days to prioritize interventions to be implemented in the health, education, agriculture and food security, infrastructure, access to capital and markets to minimize the impact. global crises on the country’s development.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Development, Tanneh Brunson, said the ACDP model is ideal for delivering basic social services to local communities and vulnerable population to reduce disparities and inequalities.
“This flagship program also offers an opportunity to create synergies, promote inclusion and ownership, and accelerate sustainable and environmentally responsible development,” said Deputy Minister Brunson.
About half (50.9%) of the Liberian population lives in poverty, with the situation worse in rural areas (71.6%) compared to urban areas (31.5%). Food insecurity is also precarious, with about half of people in rural areas (50.9%) being unsure of 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 the population connected to electricity.
“The inequalities experienced by rural dwellers in all facets of life seriously compromise their quality of life. Urgent interventions are needed, as envisioned in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, which the Accelerated Community Development Program will implement to ensure that no one in Liberia is left behind in poverty,” said said Stephen Rodriques, UNDP Resident Representative. in Liberia.
The Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, HE Urban Sjöström, noted that the ACDP model has enormous potential to bring together the efforts of various partners with a focus on women and youth as agents of change.
Ambassador Sjöström highlighted inclusiveness, transparency, accountability and sustainability as key drivers for program implementation/roll-out.
The Accelerated Community Development Program (ACDP) is inspired by programs that have been used to accelerate urban and rural development in various African countries. This is a new approach that was successfully piloted in Senegal between 2012 and 2014 and is being replicated in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Gambia and Togo.
This approach has been shown to reduce poverty and inequality and improve sustainable human development in rural areas. It has boosted rural economies by improving food security through increased agro-pastoral production and productivity, developing rural entrepreneurship and increasing rural household incomes.
ACDP has also helped develop basic socio-economic infrastructure for water and sanitation facilities, solar power, health centers, schools, and road networks that connect farmers to markets.
In Liberia, the program aims to increase investment in rural areas and reduce the strong inequalities that exist between urban and rural areas of the country.
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