Finance Ministry Consults Stakeholders on Pro-Poor Policy
Monrovia – The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has begun a five-day National Development Planning Sectoral Consultation Towards the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development at the Paynesville City Hall.
Report by J. H. Webster Clayeh, [email protected]
The gathering brought together several government institutions and civil society organizations under the theme “Promoting a Participatory Development Planning Process.”
Speaking at the start of the gathering Monday, April 23, the Deputy Minister for Budget at the MFDP, Tanneh Brusome, said objective of the engagement is to obtain the inputs as government identifies the pro-poor policy, which is directly aimed at impacting on poverty.
“As we deliberate here today and during ensuring engagements, our general principle should be to formulate policies that will seek to take our people out of poverty,” Brusome said.
She added that as they deliberate and develop the path out of poverty, they (government) have to focus not only on the growth of opportunity adding that internal constraint on what she refers to as ‘aspiration and behavior’ that limit poor people’s ability to participate.
According to the Deputy Finance Minister for Budget, there is a need that the government places poverty reduction as the central objective of its development process.
Brusome: “Our development strategy must therefore seek to achieve human development which is secure, sustainable, equitable and empowering for most of the population.”
She added, “It is that the new administration is keen on developing the next medium-term development strategy that speaks to its pro-poor agenda.”
According to her, for the past decade, Africa experienced strong economic growth, averaging 5.4 percent, above the global average of three per year something she said is instilling optimism about the continent’s economic prospects.
“However, the growth has been inclusive or equitable, and has made insignificant impact on poverty. In the case of Liberia, this growth was largely driven by prices of extractive resources, especially iron ore. Despite all these economic growth trends, poverty still has a major impact on us.”
The Deputy Minister for Budget further stated that the concern for the pro-poor policy has been deeply rooted in the development models, which placed exclusive emphasis on the pursuit of growth.
Also, the Assistant Minister for Regional and Sectorial Planning, Mr. Benedict Kolubah, says what they are opting for is to have an inclusive and participatory national development plan that considers the plights of Liberians both home and abroad.
Kolubah added that development partners are waiting to see the plan that the government has so that they can align their activities to support the government for the next five years.
“Well, in the plan we will consider five pillars. The key areas we will consider are agriculture, health, infrastructure youth development and of course the economy,” he added.