By: Dougba K. McCay Correspondent
The Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) recently launched its community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP) in Kakata, Margibi County.
Speaking at the Program, the Executive Director of LACE, Mr. Julius K. Sele, said the LACE was established by an Act of the National Legislature in 2004 to improve the living standards of poor communities through the provisions and strengthening of basic social services and to promote a community-based approach in sub-project identification, preparation, implementation, administration and maintenance.
Mr. Sele said the Community Livelihood Investment Project (CLIP) aim is to make community work activities more productive and to have longer term benefits for participants.
He added that the community Livelihood Investment project is an 18-month program designed to empower over ten thousand young people drawn from the length and breadth of the country. He said seven-hundred young people from each county will benefit from the program.
Meanwhile Mr. Sele said Rice and Cassava processing Machines will be given to each county in the country.
Also speaking at the ceremony, the World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Ms. IngunaDobraja said the project will benefit young people in all of the fifteen counties across Liberia, and help poor and vulnerable youths to begin rebuilding Liberia’s economy and people’s livelihood.
Ms. Dobraja said with the Ebola epidemic receding, recovery efforts need to start immediately with everybody joining resources and hands. She maintained that the project aims to expand access of poor and young Liberians to temporary employment programs across Liberia targeting ten thousand (10,000) youths, something she added that youths will be identified through a participatory process largely relying on community involvement to ensure transparency.
Ms. Dobraja added that the Community Livelihood project was made possible through the generosity of the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund within the World Bank and that the fund is financed by a pool of donors who are committed to innovative programs to help improve the lives of people and communities.
She further said the World Bank is committed to supporting the Government to continue these types of interventions and build sustainable safety nets systems in Liberia.
For his part the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia, Ambassador Joseph NyumaBoakai Sr. who delivered the launching address for the Community Livelihood Investment Pproject (CLIP) said the Government has not failed in acknowledging the critical role the youths of this nation have in the shaping of its destiny.
Amb. Boakai said the LACE extends the warmest of felicitation of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, the Government and people of this nation for the thoughtful undertaking.
Vice President Boakai also extended thanks to the World Bank for their financial support to enable facilitate the execution of the project. He said the World Bank has been the strongest supporter of the LACE projects, the Agency’s inception, he noted that the Liberian people greatly appreciate this invaluable support.
Meanwhile, Amb. Boakai has urged local Government and community leaders to appreciate the World Bank by way of lending total support to its effort and cooperate unreservedly with the various aspects of its implementation.
Amb. Boakai said he remains disposed to help remove any obstacle that may stand in the way of the smooth sailing of the program.
Vice Boakai encouraged those who will be the fortunate ones to benefit from this project to put themselves together in readiness to withstand the demands that participation will throw on them.