Two Million Liberians Above Poverty Line…Information Minister Asserts
By Morrison O.G. Sayon
The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information has disclosed that about 2 million Liberians are living beyond the poverty line. Addressing the regular press briefing of the Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism in Monrovia yesterday, Minister Brown said statistics from the World Bank and the African Development Bank shows that 76.6 percent of Liberians live above the poverty line.
Brown said eight of every ten Liberian lives above poverty line presently in Liberia about 20 percent reduction in the poverty rate. He said the studies also indicate that poverty is declining in the country. Minister Brown added that the studies also indicate that Mozambique and Liberia are the leading performers in the reduction of poverty.
He said this statistics means that Liberia is making tremendous progress in reducing the rate of poverty in the country adding that despite the progress in the fight against poverty, government needs to do more to ensure that the poverty rate is further reduced.
Brown said the value of social contract between Government and its citizens is to enable the people get out of poverty. He added that about two million persons are now living above the poverty line something that has shown significant progress on the part of government to reduce poverty.
Commenting on power supply to Liberians, Brown said government’s post prioritized areas for the supply of electricity is the economically depressed communities (slum communities) to improve the living standard of those dwelling in such communities.
He said when those in the various slum communities are given electricity they will begin to engage in small and medium size businesses and get out of poverty. “We were aware that there would’ve been power theft in the slum communities but why did we begin with those communities? Because it is our duty to do so, so as to empower those in those communities,” the MICAT boss averred.
“We have given light to the Southeast, and that’s how to fight poverty; we have opened up the economy for Liberians to be engaged in business; there are increase in the number of banks; the banks are giving loans to our people; Liberians are now in business than at any point of the nation’s history,” the Information boss confidently boasted.
He said the government is prepared to drive poverty level lower adding, there is still hope for the country. Minister Brown then agreed with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s recent address to the nation that the foundation of the nation’s economy remains strong in the face of the budget shortfall.
Among other things, he said some of the factors that lead to the reduction of poverty in any country which the government has achieved and still working on include the management of the nation’s resources, salary increase, built capacities of its citizens setting up of internal audit at various government institutions, establishment of watchdog groups including the Public Procurement Concession Commission (PPCC), Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission (LACC), the Liberia Extractive Industry Transparency International, the media, among others.