The Press Union of Liberia or PUL and the United States Embassy near Monrovia have signed a grant agreement for US$3,000 to enable the PUL replace equipment and materials stolen after its headquarters recently after a burglary.
PUL President Kamara A. Kamara and U.S. Embassy’s Public Affairs Officer, Sally Hodgson, signed the agreement in Monrovia, Wednesday morning.
Embassy authorities said the grant was their way of helping the PUL to recover from the burglary, and to support the Liberian media, which is a critical pillar to the country’s democracy.
“We are very gratified by this significant gesture,” PUL President K. Abdullai Kamara, said in a release issued in Monrovia. “The US Embassy’s assistance is timely and noteworthy. Otherwise, as it would have taken months for the Union to restore the lost items.” He said with the grant, the PUL will now reequip its media monitoring unit and address other work-related constraints the Union has faced since the burglary. “These are the kind of partnership the PUL envisages; partnership that promotes democracy and free speech, and e that strengthens the media to be more professional.”
The headquarters of the PUL was burglarized on the night of February 16, 2015, with properties and equipment worth more than US$2,600 stolen. The forensic division of the Liberia National Police (LNP) has since launched an investigation into the incident. Criminals broke into the building through one of its bathroom windows, after removing an iron bar.
PUL Secretary General, D. Kaihenneh Sengbeh, said staffs of the Union were shocked when they arrived at work and observed that their offices had been burglarized and equipment missing. Five media monitoring radio phones, a black Acer Laptop, three stabilizers, two video recorders, and a Public Address system, among 11 other items were taken away.