Liberia: VP Howard-Taylor Lands in Reykjavik, Iceland, for High Level Global Women Leaders Forum

Vice President Jewel Taylor

KAKATA, MARGIBI COUNTY – The United Nations Development Program (UNDP)-Liberia, in partnership with the Government of Liberia (GOL), has ended a weeklong conflict management and resolution training/community dialogue for youth and women of Margibi County.

Report by Yawah Y. Jaivey, Contributor

The training was held under the auspices of the United Nations Development Program Consolidating Peace and Social Cohesion through Pro-Poor Livelihoods and Economic Empowerment for Women and Youth Project in Liberia.

The forum which was carried out in series in Margibi County earlier on started on Monday, November 19, bringing together more than 85 participants in Harbel, Lower Margibi County and subsequently moved to Kakata City in the upper part of the county where similar numbers of women and youth attended.

The National Project Manager of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) BOSS Project, Mr. Marcus B. Zarway, said that participants were basically trained on conflict prevention, livelihood and economic empowerment and social cohesion in order to foster the consolidation of peace, thus promoting the exceling of businesses and livelihoods of beneficiaries of selected communities.

He noted that in Liberia the lack of peaceful community and social cohesion, especially after the conduct of the 2017 Elections, businesses and the livelihoods of Liberians are not excelling due to conflicts permeating among community dwellers.

He disclosed that study has proven over the years that conflict and lack of social cohesion among traders and consumers are key factors that are affecting the enhancement of trade in Liberia.

Mr. Zarway revealed that it was based on such situation that his organization emphasis is being sited on selecting participants from conflict prone communities to be trained to mitigate these conflicts.
The UNDP BOSS Project National Project Manager told FPA that the participants will now serve as ambassadors to mitigate conflicts and champion the message of conflict prevention and promotion of social cohesion in their respective community.

He pointed out that the UNDP is cognizant of the Livelihood and economic empowerment of vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized groups especially women and youth as an issue that remains a critical aspect of the Government of Liberia national development plan for inclusive sustainable growth and job creation.

Against such backdrop, he said the UNDP, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection (MoGCSP) Ministry of Youth and Sports (MoYS) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) through the Peacebuilding Officer (PBO), in October 2018, conducted a joint needs assessment in four counties (Montserrado, Margibi, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount) intended to map the immediate socioeconomic needs of beneficiaries of the one year pilot Project.

Mr. Zarway said: “The overall outcome amounted in the need to promote and enhance peace and social cohesion among women and youth through conflict prevention practices, while providing livelihood support through small business development trainings and start-up kits.”

The UNDP BOSS Project National Project Manager speaking to FPA Thursday, November 22, in Kakata City, Margibi County stated that the project seeks to basically deliver two interlinked outputs including the enhancement of the participation and leadership of women and youth in conflict prevention and local development, and enhanced livelihoods and economic empowerment of youth and women.

He added that the proposed outputs will immensely contribute to the achievement of the PAPD pillars of peace consolidation and employment creation.

Meanwhile, at the end of the training the participants were dispatched in communities of Kakata and drilled by facilitators on the procedures of community dialogue and created awareness on the necessity of social cohesion.