Liberians In Canada Present COVID-19 Stimulus Package to Group Of 77

Mr. Abraham C. Sesay and other officials of the Group of 77

MONROVIA – The Liberian Association in Canada (LAC) has presented a coronavirus stimulus package to the Group of 77 Disabled Organization with a call on well-meaning Liberians and philanthropic organizations to remember vulnerable and less fortunate citizens during this emergency period in Liberia.

The group which is headed by Mr. Leo L. Johnson, , presented 50 bags of rice to the Group of 77 in Monrovia on Friday, April 24.

The presentation was made by LAC’s Local Coordinating Committee Chairman, Mr. Abraham Carlison Sesay who is presently residing in Liberia

Smiles, cheers and jubilations characterized the brief presentation ceremony held at the Group of 77 headquarters on Newport Street in Monrovia

The donation comes just few hours after President George Manneh Weah extended the state of emergency which was previously declared and endorsed by the National Legislature for another two-week period.

Making the presentation, Mr. Sesay disclosed that the association was cognizant of the numerous challenges confronting disadvantaged and less fortunate citizens during this pandemic.

He said the funds were raised by Liberians residing in Canada as their own way of contributing towards the well-being of their “brothers and sisters” during these difficult times.

He described the gesture as an “initial contribution” and urged goodhearted Liberians and humanitarian groups operating in the country to see reason to identify with less fortunate citizens, particularly, physically challenged and visually impaired Liberians.

The Liberian humanitarian, who is also an eminent resident of electoral district # 17 in Montserrado County,

“Our brothers and sisters in Canada haven’t experienced and heard about COVID-19 in our country and around the world decided to raise funds among themselves as a way of contributing to their brothers and sisters back home during this time. To be honest with you, the Group of 77 is one of the key areas where they have found it extremely important to identify with.”

Mr. Sesay maintained that the gesture was intended to provide “a little bit of relief” to the beneficiaries during this emergency period.

Receiving the donation, the head of the Group of 77, Madam Wayfa Ciapha commended the Liberian Association in Canada for the gesture.

She noted that the vulnerable group got in contact with the LAC, through the office of Liberian Vice President Jewel Howard-Taylor, who has been very instrumental in soliciting support for the less fortunate group.

According to her, VP Taylor has been immensely lobbying to ensure that basic necessities are provided physically challenged Liberian citizens.

Madam Ciapha added that disabled people, who are difficult to move and get around, are faced with numerous challenges especially during this emergency period.

“This contribution is really on time. We bless God that bro Leo L. Johnson and other Liberians around the country can think about their brothers and sisters back home. Their efforts made is highly appreciated and taken into consideration”.

She, however, used the occasion to urged humanitarians and others to see the need to nose masks to the institution for onward submission that remains vulnerable to COVID-19 in other parts of the country.

According to her, modalities will be worked out to ensure that members of the Group of 77 residing in Todee District and other areas benefit from the rice donated by the Liberian Association in Canada.

Madam Ciapha noted that the outbreak of the coronavirus in Liberia makes disabled persons, who normally depend on begging to survive, more vulnerable to the killer virus.

At least 11 persons have died of COVID-19 in Liberia, while about 120 confirmed cases remain active, according to a report released by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL) on Friday April 24.

According to a dispatch from Canada, the latest move by the Liberian Association in Canada is part of its “COVID-19 Relief” which was launched recently to help provide food for people or groups dealing with disabilities, healthcare workers and several orphanages across Montserrado County, and its environs.

The group pledged to focus on the most vulnerable populations in Liberia because these people have been largely ignored and abandoned during times of crises in Liberia.

The dispatch pointed out that to ensure the effective implementation of the group’s plan, LAC has setup a “Special Task Force” in Liberia that will oversee the logistics and coordination.

The group named members of the Task Force as Mr. Abraham Sesay, Miss. Ama Harris and Mr. Sabato Neufville as Coordinator and members respectively of the task force.

“The taskforce will begin the distribution of the first 150 bags of rice benefiting the Group of 77, healthcare workers and several orphanages across Montserrado County”.

The dispatch pointed out that, Mr. Sesay, who is one of the volunteer taskforce members is generously facilitating all transportation needs and logistics to ensure targeted communities can be reached in time.

“To ensure a balance approach, LAC is also providing direct relief to the Liberian community in Canada through its various member associations across the country. Presidents of various Liberian Community Associations across the country have been directed to conduct an assessment in the local communities to facilitate direct support from LAC based on the needs identified”.

The group maintained: “Some communities are already benefiting as the results of the assessments trickle in gradually. Additionally, the women wing of LAC has embarked on the production of thousands of cloth face masks (WHO Standard) to support frontline workers in the Liberian community as well as several institutions deeply affected by the crisis in Canada. Other groups being targeted include long term care homes which are currently facing the worst of the crisis”.

Meanwhile, the president of LAC, Mr. Leo Nupolu Johnson, has extended special appreciation to the office of the Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor for providing the logistical arrangement to facilitate the necessary assessments needed to achieve this goal.

Mr. Johnson also paid special tribute to Ambassador George Patten, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United States, Canada and Mexico, for his leadership in mobilizing the Liberian community in Canada to be a part of the overall Diaspora COVID-19 Relief Efforts in Liberia during this unprecedented crisis that threatens the very existence of humanity.

He assured the Liberian community that this is just the first wave of this effort, as preparations are already in progress to roll out the second phase that will continue until the battle against COVID-19 is won in Liberia.

For his part, the board chair of LAC, Mr. Jerry Gbardy, thanked donors and all those who contributed financially and in other ways to ensure that this milestone was achieved at lightning speed given the time sensitivity of the evolving crisis in Liberia.

He further extended special thanks to the Liberian Community Associations in Windsor, London, Kitchener, Hamilton/Niagara, Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg and several individuals across Canada and the United States for their immense contributions towards the initiative.