Redemption Hospital risks shut down

Liberia’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Francis Kateh says if nothing is done to remedy a financial crisis at the Redemption Hospital in New Krun, the closure of the facility and other government - run facilities is about to happen.

Dr. Kateh told ECOWAS Radio on Thursday, 12 April that Redemption Hospital and three other public health facilities in the Southeastern region of Liberia are facing serious financial crisis.

Redemption Hospital is one of Liberia’s major referral hospitals, but Dr. Kateh says he has received calls from these major hospitals complaining that they do not have funding to carry out their regular hospital activities and pay vendors.

The health official says he has spoken to the Minister of Finance to expedite the release of funding allocated to the affected institutions to enable them meet their obligations.

According to Dr. Kateh, he visited Redemption Hospital on Wednesday, 11 April and put in place a mechanism to ensure that the hospital becomes fully operational so that patients do not lose their lives.

He has also promised to reach out to other affected hospitals in the Southeast, indicating that health authorities will ensure that services are restored to save the lives of Liberians.

Dr. Kateh says the Ministry of Health is working with all the key stakeholders to ensure that the issue of healthcare is fully addressed.The looming interruptions in the operations of several of Liberia's major health facilities have sparked major concerns in several of the Country's poor communities.

This comes in the wake of the Country's desire to focus on preventive care for a healthy nation.Dr. Keteh says the hospital is in dire need of funds, drugs and other essential materials to effectively provide medical services to patients.

He says the hospital has and continues to provide free medical treatment to vulnerable population of the country who lack the means of paying their medical bills for treatment that the hospital provides.

Dr. kateh says it is disheartening to see Redemption Hospital on the verge of closing down its operations simply because of many challenges it faces.Earlier receiving Dr. Kateh at Redemption Hospital, the Administrator Mr. Dominic R. Rennie informed Dr. Ketteh that the hospital did not have operational funds which make effective operations difficult.

By Bridgett Milton & Emmanuel Mondaye--Edited by Winston W. Parley

‘I fail if Weah fails’

Former Liberian President Ellen Johnson - Sirleaf says she fails if her successor President George Manneh Weah’s administration fails, thus vowing to do what she can to make Mr. Weah’s government succeeds.

“Because if he fails, I fail and Liberia fails. So that’s why we all must do what we can to build that relationship to make sure … Liberia succeeds in this administration,” she told an interview Tuesday with her former Information Minister Atty. Lawrence Bropleh on state broadcaster ELBC.

Mrs. Sirleaf says she is obligated to doing whatever she can do to ensure that President Weah’s government is successful. The former Liberian first female elected President says she has a very good relationship with her successor President Weah, noting that she likes to see that good relationship maintained.

Responding to criticisms that she is being branded here as “wicked person” during the interview, Mrs. Sirleaf said “one or two wicked people” are calling her wicked person because she did not meet their political desire.

Her response to such criticism comes months after being expelled by former ruling Unity Party (UP) following her former Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai’s defeat in a presidential election last year.

Mrs. Sirleaf said people sought her support for the presidency and she frankly told them they can’t be president. “So people say come and support me, I want [to] be president, I tell you frankly you can’t be president … yeah, just like that and they know it. You see then they will go they will hold that against me, then they will go talk about me,” Mrs. Sirleaf notes.

Though Mrs. Sirleaf did not mention Mr. Boakai in her interview, but the former ruling Unity Party (UP’s) presidential ticket featuring her former vice president and former Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay was full of claims that she did not support Mr. Boakai’s quest to succeed her.

Mr. Boakai lost the election to former opposition Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) candidate Mr. George Manneh Weah who became Liberia’s 24th President in January.

The immediate past female president says she observes that people have their own idea about what one should do or give, and when their own criteria is not met, they begin to talk about you.

“So where is it, where is it coming from? It’s just coming from one or two wicked people. Part of it political you know because I don’t meet whatever they felt was their political desire that I did not measure up to,” she adds.

She argues further on the issue of being branded a “wicked” person that people who have been with her over the years are still with her. She gives an instance that in her yard today, Mr. David Doe, the man that worked with her as messenger while she was just an Assistant Minister in the 70s at the Ministry of Finance is still with her.

To get clues to why people may be calling her wicked, former President Sirleaf says she she is a disciplinarian, elaborating that when she sends someone to buy something for her, she demands her change.

She says she helps to pay tuition for somebody who cannot work, but if she sees that you can work, she would send you to Mary to find work for you, apparently referring to her former General Service Agency Director General Madam Mary Broh who continues on the job in the Weah - led administration.

“But you come in and I see you can work, I say go to Mary I will tell Mary to find you work. Earn so you can have your honor and your dignity. If I say no, maybe they call that wicked,” she says.

Mrs. Sirleaf is cleared that for people who just want freebies, she is not used to freebies because she earns everything she has, saying “I work for it and I expect people to work for theirs.”

By Winston W. Parley

SOS Children’s Villages Liberia promote gender equity

A cross section of staff at the SOS Children's Villages Liberia National Office, including National Director Augustine Allieu (4th from right).

Gender inequality in workplaces continues to be a subject of concern across the world, particularly in developing countries. From the private to public sectors the situation remains a serious challenge.

SOS Children’s Villages seems committed to changing this paradigm, as the current National Management Team has sought to make its senior management team more gender friendly. “Bridging the gap between genders and placing qualified and/or potential women in senior management positions remains a priority”, notes Augustine Allieu, National Director.

In order to achieve this, SOS Liberia has as one of its strategic directions to “be an employer of choice, continuously working to improve the overall work environment and working conditions and building a family of committed and trustworthy co-workers; secondly to identify qualified and potential co-workers and invest in local capacity building of national staff, with a focus on gender equality”.

The SOS Liberia National Association (NA) launched a “gender in the workplace initiative “by first of all announcing two gender champions who will lead the rest of the organization in ensuring an engendered workplace generally.

Since late last year, the NA has improved the ratio between males and females on the National Management Team to 50:50. Currently, more than half of the co-workers are females although this has not been reflected at the management level for a long time.

“Making female participation a priority in National Management discussions is highly encouraging”, notes Mrs. Sophie Ndong, Regional Strategy and Brand Advisor.
“This is just a start, as we hope to ensure gender cuts across not only our HR practices but all our programmes as well”, says Mr. Allieu. This approach is not only in conformity with the MDG Goal 3 of the United Nations, or the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979, (CEDAW), or the SOS Children’s Villages International Gender Equality Policy, it is also the right thing to do”, he concludes.

“The inclusion of qualified women on the current National Management Team signifies an equitable participation and representation of all,” Mrs. Miatta Sherman Jallah (Fund Development and Communications Manager), espoused, adding, that “it is a sincere attempt to get everyone on board to be part of decision making and development”.

Gender inequality in Africa is a multi-layered and complex issue. Women are principal victims, with different forms of inequality both in families and at workplaces. In a report released by the UNDP in 2017, it was found that women achieve only 87 per cent of the human development outcomes of men and only make 70 cents for each dollar made by men.

According to the World Bank, over 66 percent of Liberian females, age 15 and older, participate in some form of employment. Most of their employment is in the informal sector. This figure from the World Development Indicators put the percentage at 11.4, much lower than the Sub Saharan Africa average of 32 percent.
Although Liberian women continue to make strides in attaining gender parity in key decision-making positions nationally, however prior to the current administration women occupy 5 out of 21 Cabinet positions, 5 out of 36 legislator positions, and 5 out of 15 county-superintendent positions.

Moreover, there are also 2 women on the five-member Supreme Court bench. To promote gender inclusivity, Liberian legislators have introduced a “Fairness Bill” that requires at least 30 percent female representation in political offices and political parties’ leadership positions, a bill that is yet to be fully executed.

Pro-poor lawmakers enjoy protection

The Liberian government’s much publicized “pro-poor agenda” appears to be rapidly becoming another Animal Farm story or cow pu-pu agenda as the reality on the ground seems completely different from what is on paper.

Read more ...

Sen. Cooper receives lashes

Margibi County Senator Oscar A. Cooper receives lashes here for opposing the appointment and subsequent confirmation of former Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority or LCAA.

A prominent citizen of the county, Mr. Andrew Nelson Yancy, who is also Project Manager of Steinbock Liberia Limited, a private firm based in Margibi, expresses dissatisfaction over Senator Cooper’s opposition when he spoke to reporters recently in Kakata.

Following Mr. Nuquay’s nomination by President George Weah to head the LCAA and his subsequent confirmation by the senate, Senator Oscar Cooper wrote plenary, expressing his descending views against the confirmation.

He notes that the appointee does not have 10 years experience as required by the act that created the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority.

Senator Cooper maintains that Mr. Nuquay, who gave up the Speaker post and contested as running mate to ex-Vice President Joseph Boakai in 2017, has no knowledge on civil aviation, so making him head of that institution could pose challenges, including security threat.

But speaking to reporters recently in Kakata, Mr. Yancy argues that the senator’s opposition to his kinsman speaks of his ingratitude and also shows Margibians that they have to be careful in who they elect as leaders.

According to him, before ascendency to the senate, Mr. Cooper was very little known in Margibi, but his hands were raised by Nuquay to gain the prominence that he (Sen. Cooper) now enjoys.

He says it is a shame that out of 28 senators, only Senator Oscar Cooper came holds descending view, which means that he does not even have support in the senate, but is single-handedly operating because he is always on the losing side when it comes to pushing issues across the floor.

The Chairman of the Governing Council of the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change, Chief Cyril Allen recently voiced his opposition to the appointment of former Speaker James Emmanuel Nuquay as Director General of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority and his subsequent confirmation by the Liberian Senate.

In an interview with OK FM, a local radio station in Monrovia, Chief Allen cited the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" Sub-chapter II Section 203 under Appointment and Qualifications of the Director General, which states among others, “The Director General shall be appointed with regard to being properly qualified and experienced in civil aviation for the efficient discharge of the powers and duties vested in and imposed by this Act.”

Mr. Nuquay holds a BSc degree in Economics from the University of Liberia and is a graduate of the Louis Arthur Grimes School of Law from the same state-run university.

But Chief Allen stresses that the former Speaker lacks technical qualification as required by the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" to head the LCAA.

He notes that the country is not bankrupt of qualified personnel in civil aviation and names at least five Liberian professionals, including Capt. Moses J. Weefer, and Randolph Cooper, among others, who could instead, effectively run the institution based on competence.

He warns that the appointment could face some international challenges because Liberia is a member of the world civil aviation authority and there are global standards that should be met.

The CDC Governing Council Chair thinks those who recommended the former Speaker to President George Manneh Weah for appointment to the post, did so to embarrass the President, cautioning, “A gift from a wicked man is a trap; I don’t want somebody to embarrass our President tomorrow.”

However, Rivercess County Senator Dollar Gueh, disagrees with Chief Allen, defending that Mr. Nuquay is a professional manager, capable of steering the affairs of the LCAA.

He cites count two of Section 203 of the "Civil Aviation Act of 2005" under Sub-chapter II that states: “At the time of nomination, the Director General shall have at least ten years management or similar technical experience in a field directly related to aviation.”


Editing by Jonathan Browne

Vers un financement durable du développement

WASHINGTON – Il faudra consacrer chaque année des milliers de milliards de dollars au titre de la coopération, de l'investissement et de l'aide pour atteindre les Objectifs de développement durable de l'ONU d'ici 2030. Même si les estimations varient beaucoup suivant les sources, un rapport de l'ONU datant de 2014 indique qu'il faudrait investir 7 000 milliards de dollars exclusivement à l'amélioration des infrastructures. Mais quel que soit le chiffre final, ces sommes excèdent les possibilités de beaucoup de pays. C'est pourquoi les dirigeants politiques soucieux de parvenir aux 17 objectifs de développement durable espèrent que leur secteur bancaire fournira l'essentiel du financement.

C'est là un espoir raisonnable. Dans les pays émergents, les banques détiennent plus de 50 000 milliards de dollars d'actifs. Autrement dit, leur participation serait un atout considérable pour le financement du développement durable.

Or actuellement beaucoup d'organismes prêteurs n'ont pas les moyens d'évaluer correctement les risques (financiers, environnementaux, sociaux et de gouvernance) liés à ce type de projet. Si la communauté internationale veut atteindre les Objectifs du développement durable, elle doit renforcer ses pratiques en matière de financement durable.

Heureusement, la collaboration entre différentes institutions produit déjà des résultats fructueux. En mai 2012, les organes de régulation bancaire de 10 pays ont demandé à mon organisation - La Société financière internationale du groupe La Banque mondiale - de les aider à établir un Réseau bancaire durable (SBN, Sustainable Banking Network) destiné à financer des projets verts favorables à l'environnement et socialement inclusifs. Depuis sa création, ce réseau s'est étendu à 34 pays dont les banques détiennent 42 600 milliards d'actifs - soit plus de 85% des actifs bancaires des pays émergents.

Aujourd'hui le SBN met en contact organismes régulateurs, banques et agences des pays émergents pour améliorer leurs pratiques financières en matière de développement durable. Ce que ces derniers ont fait jusqu'à présents, bien qu'entièrement volontaire, a déjà des conséquences mesurables. Ainsi en 2016 le SBN est devenu un partenaire central du Groupe d’étude sur la finance verte du G20 qui a favorisé les progrès du programme de finance verte du G20 et il a souligné l'importance de la prise en compte des risques environnementaux au sein des systèmes financiers.

Par ailleurs, en phase avec les meilleures pratiques internationales, nombre des économies les plus importantes du réseau ont adopté des mesures destinées au financement durable. Toutes ces mesures encouragent les organismes régulateurs des pays membres et non-membres à accroître leur aide en faveur des prêts socialement responsables.

Pour maintenir cet élan, le SBN a besoin d'outils de mesure précis des progrès. C'est pourquoi la Société financière internationale vient de publier son premier Rapport annuel sur les progrès du SBN. Avec le soutien de la Société financière internationale, à l'unanimité de ses membres (organisations et pays), le SBN a conçu un cadre destiné à identifier l'adoption et les conséquences des mesures qu'ils auront prises. Cela a exigé un niveau de consensus international remarquable qui ouvre de nouvelles perspectives pour l'analyse du secteur financier.

Le rapport félicite tout particulièrement 8 pays membres du SBN (le Bangladesh, le Brésil, la Chine, la Colombie, l'Indonésie, la Mongolie, le Nigeria et leVietnam) pour les mesures innovantes qu'ils ont pris. Ils ont notamment introduit des programmes de surveillance transparents et à grande échelle des transactions et une nouvelle réglementation qui exige des banques qu'elles prennent en compte les risques sociaux et environnementaux dans leur processus de décision. Ces pays, grâce à des mesures incitatives sur les marchés, encouragent les banques à financer davantage de projets favorables à l'environnement.

L'un des objectifs de ce rapport annuel est de tirer les enseignements de ce qui c'est déjà passé et de documenter les perspectives - ce qui encourage le secteur bancaire à s'engager dans d'autres réformes utiles. De ce point de vue, la Société financière internationale considère ce premier rapport essentiellement comme une épure destinée à accélérer le changement et à le rationaliser.

Il reste encore beaucoup à faire pour améliorer le financement durable dans les pays émergents. Ainsi le SBN vise-t-il maintenant à aider les pays en développement à profiter des opportunités d'investissement liées au réchauffement climatique. Le rapport de la Société financière internationale évalue ces opportunités à quelques 23 000 milliards de dollars. Le réseau bancaire durable veut aussi accélérer la croissance du marché des obligations vertes, ce qui inciterait d'autres éléments du système financier mondial à participer aux initiatives destinées au financement durable.

Quoi qu'il en soit, les membres du SBN peuvent s'estimer satisfaits. En seulement 5 ans, il est passé de l'état de projet ambitieux à un réseau composé d'organisations centrées sur le développement, d'organismes de régulation, de banques et de responsables politiques qui s'impliquent véritablement. Ainsi que je l'ai déjà dit, avec l'aide du SBN, les pays engagés dans la construction d'un meilleur cadre financier traduisent leurs idées dans la réalité.

Mettre fin à la pauvreté, protéger la planète et construire un avenir plus équitable pour l'humanité (la perspective à long terme des Objectifs de développement durable) sera coûteux. Mais avec la structure financière adéquate et de nouveaux outils pour mesurer les progrès, les banques pourraient s'engager dans les investissements que nous faisons aujourd'hui sans se mettre en danger.

Traduit de l’anglais par Patrice Horovitz

Ethiopis Tafara est vice-président de la Société financière internationale, spécialisé dans les questions de risques d'entreprise et de développement durable, et conseiller juridique.

par Ethiopis Tafara

Internal Affairs Minister wants Liberians improve agriculture sector

Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf is calling on Liberians to forgo personal differences and work together for the improvement of Liberia’s agriculture sector.

Minister Sirleaf said recently that if Liberia is to move forward, there is a strong need for more attention to be given to the agriculture sector, adding that it is the most important thing in the world.

Minister Sirleaf narrates that his work will not only focus on coordinating the affairs of the Internal Affairs Ministry, but to also ensure that the necessary supports be given to the Agriculture Ministry for food productivity.

He told a cross section of citizens in Gbarnga that he will work with Agriculture Minister - designate Dr. Mogana Flomo, Jr., to ensure the implementation of plans for the agriculture sector.

Speaking about plans for the Internal Affairs Ministry, Minister Sirleaf said he will also ensure the full implementation of the Local Governance Council which he said will be followed by the election of local chiefs across the country.

He said electing chiefs will give them the full responsibility in discharging their duties without fear of being intimidated by top government officials.
Meanwhile, Minister Sirleaf has challenged newly appointed members of local government of Bong County to abide by the rule of law in all of their doings.

He wants local government officials of Bong County to respect powerless citizens and not to use their positions to terrorize them.

Local government officials of Bong County that were appointed by President George Manneh Weah include Anthony Sheriff, Assistant Superintendent for Development; Conteh Yallah, Statutory District Superintendent; Paul A. Sulonteh, Assistant Superintendent for Fiscal Affairs; Jerry Tinnie, Relieving Commissioner; Lucia Herbert, Gbarnga City Mayor, Aaron Mulbah, Fumah District Commissioner; and Daniel Tubman, Salala District Commissioner.

Other appointees include Milton Varney, Sanoyea District Commissioner; Annie Reeves, Yellequelleh District Commissioner, and Daniel O. Dudu, Suakoko District, among others.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Mrs. Weah tours LPRC

First Lady, Clar Weah says she is greatly impressed with the level of work ongoing at the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company (LPRC). A release from the Office of the First Lady said Mrs. Weah gave her impression on Friday, March 2, 2018 during a tour of LPRC facilities and to inspect ongoing construction projects.

She thanked LPRC Managing Director, Nyemade Pearson, and the management team along with the staff for their commitment to duty.

The visit was intended to pay a courtesy call on the new Managing Director, Ms. Pearson, as well as obtain first hand assessment of ongoing projects.

At LPRC, Mrs. Weah was taken on a guided tour, which started with the company’s clinic now being rehabilitated to offer immediate response to health needs in the place of work.

Mrs. Weah met with employees, who were pre-dominantly women, and expressed appreciation over her visit.

Speaking earlier, LPRC Managing Director, Ms. Pearson thanked the Mrs. Weah for the visit and assured her that the next time she returns, some of the projects, especially the clinic would have been completed and ready for dedication.

Father re-arrested

Police in Bong County have re-arrested rape suspect Benjamin Duncan, having earlier been released from a police detention center in Bong where he was confined for allegedly raping his daughter on Christmas night last year, in an act of incest.

Incest is sexual activity between two people who are considered, for moral or genetic reasons, too closely related to have such a relationship. It is regarded as a serious taboo in almost every society, although cultures differ as to the extent to which marriages are allowed between relatives.
Police were reported to have released suspect Duncan from detention recently, but gave no clear explanation over his release when our correspondent made inquiry at the Police Detachment in the county.

Report of suspect Duncan’s release from police custody was greeted by public condemnation, with pressure being mounted against authorities to ensure the suspect is held to account.

Our Bong County correspondent says following mounting pressure, the suspect was re-arrested on Thursday, 22 February based on the orders of County Attorney Wilkins Nah.

Attorney Nah had himself faced allegations of allegedly being in the know of suspect Duncan’s release, but he immediately denied the claims earlier.

Suspect Duncan was rearrested while enroute to an unknown destination in Bong County. He has denied any wrongdoing and has called on the police to have mercy on him. He accuses his daughter of acting in a way to denigrate him to the public, arguing if he is mad to rape his own daughter.

“How can I rape my own daughter, am I mad? A child that I have been washing her cloths from one year up to present, how crazy will I be to rape her?” he spoke in a very sorrowful mood.

Suspect Duncan claims that his daughter had over the past time been wishing to come to Monrovia to go to school, allegedly threatening to put him in trouble if he did not send her to her aunt in Monrovia.

He wants the police to independently investigate the case, adding that they should not take decision that will make them to be bias simply because the girl is a small child.

The alleged rape case was reported on 8 February when the 11 - year - old victim turned sick and was taken to the C. B. Dumber Hospital in Gbarnga for treatment.

She is said to have been raped by her father on Christmas night and the two have since allegedly been having sex at their residence in the Sugar Hill Community of Gbarnga, Bong County.

Health workers at the health facility were said to have noticed that the 11 - year - old girl had chronic infection related to sexually active person and decided to ask her. Upon health workers’ inquiry, the victim is said to have confessed that her father had tempered with her.

She explained that her father usually uses a lot of grease to lubricate her private part before penetrating her, allegedly threatening to kill her if she told anyone.

Police Commander Federick Nepay had accused Bong County Attorney Wilkins Nah of allegedly ordering the release of the alleged rape suspect, Duncan.

But Attorney Nah said he gave no order to release suspect Duncan, noting that it was the public defender who asked for the release of the suspect because he had spent over the 48 hours statutory period required to stay in police detention.

By Joseph Titus Yekeryan in Bong--Edited by Winston W. Parley

Gov’t vow to protect women’s right

Liberia’s Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor says the CDC-led government remains committed to respecting and protecting the rights of women in Liberia.

VP Howard-Taylor added that government is also committed to ensuring that girls are allowed to reach their full potential, guaranteeing that no opportunity is denied them to progress in their life. ‘This is the basic human right and we owe it to every woman and girl to live and grow up in a secured environment without any threat from any quarter’, VP Howard-Taylor emphasized.

The Liberian Vice President spoke today, Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at programs marking the celebration of the International day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation-FGM held at the Monrovia City Hall.

Female Genital Mutilation is a violation of the human rights of women and girls and denies their dignity, endangers their health and causes needless pain and suffering.

A 2016 survey by the National Working Group Against FGM shows that in Liberia, 40 percent of girls of school-going-age have suffered the practice. Globally, an estimated 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone some form of FGM.

Though some progress has been made in Liberia, including the recent Executive Order which bans FGM, the practice is widespread and much more still needs to be done–working with all stakeholders including cultural and traditional leaders to enforce the ban.

VP Howard-Taylor therefore used the occasion to call on all Liberians and partners to remember that the fight against violence against women and girls is a collective responsibility that must be honored at every level.

Madam Howard-Taylor told the gathering that violence against women and girls takes many different forms including domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment, child, early and forced marriage, sex trafficking and female genital mutilation.

According to a release from the office of the Vice president, Vice president Howard-Taylor asserted that violence against women and girls is one of the most significant barriers to end poverty.

She noted that violence against women and girls does not only devastate women’s live and divide communities, but also undermine development efforts and the building of strong democracies and peaceful societies.

The release quotes the Vice president as detesting violence, saying that violence locks women and girls into poverty, limits their choices and ability to access education.

President George M. Weah in his inaugural address assured that his government will focus on the country’s education system, improve health and sanitation, promote and strengthen gender equality, and provide for youth re-orientation and empowerment through training of all kinds, the creation of jobs, and the expansion of sports.


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