Liberia, France Sign Social Fund Development Pact
Liberia and France over the weekend signed a Social Fund for Development (SFD) Agreement. Liberia’s Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan and French Ambassador accredited to Monrovia, His Excellency Gerard Larome signed on behalf of their respective countries.
During the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Ngafuan expressed his delight over the signing of the agreement coming barely 24-hours after both countries had previously signed a debt relief and development agreement.
Set up by the French Development Cooperation Agency, the SFD aims at supporting local development initiatives, strengthening civil society, fighting against poverty and reducing inequalities.
The total amount of the SFD for this agreement is two hundred and fifty thousand United States Dollars ($250, 000, 00). Foreign Minister Ngafuan told the French Envoy that the package is very significant for Liberia’s development and will directly impact the lives of ordinary people.
Thanking the French Ambassador on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the Liberian people, Minister Ngafuan added:“It’s the reach of your program that will make it riche … as it will have an extraordinary impact on our ordinary people”.
Earlier, French Ambassador Larome remarked that the Embassy of France wants to pave the way for new development strategies and therefore supports innovative projects that strive to implement new ideas, technologies or institutional arrangements to solve a community problem.
“As small is beautiful, the Social Fund for Development supports micro-projects and development initiatives of local and Liberian NGO’s or associations, which contribute to reinforcing the Liberian civil society”, French Ambassador Larome said.
Revealing that the first program has been implemented in Bong County with focus on food security issues, the French Ambassador stated that the projects are intended for both rural and urban areas and will focus on enabling the poorest to have access to basic services, particularly in the water and sanitation, health, primary education and food security sectors.
Ambassador Larome added that the priorities of the program for the following years, in consultation with their Liberian partners, are to support projects in the health sector and implement poverty reduction activities. He concluded by encouraging all officially registered Liberian civil society organizations to apply for the fund.
Friday’s program followed Thursday’s US$5.5 million debt relief and development agreement between the governments of Liberia and France which was signed at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. It is intended to support programs in the Liberian Health sector.