-Country Manager Assures
The World Bank Country Manager, Larisa Leshchenko has assured young people in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County that the bank remains committed to achieving the goal of ending extreme poverty in the country, defined as living on less than US$1.90 a day, by 2030.
Madam Leshchenko, whose statement was contained in a National Youth Day celebration speech delivered by Mr. Sekou Kamara, Officer-in-Charge and Environmentalist at the World Bank, said the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty fell to ten percent in 2015, but the pace of extreme poverty reduction has slowed.
However, given that economic growth means that a much greater proportion of the world’s poor now lives in wealthier countries, additional poverty lines and a broader understanding of poverty are crucial to fully fight it, according to the 2015 World Bank report.
While the rates of extreme poverty have declined substantially, falling from 36 percent in 1990, the report’s expanded examination of the nature of poverty demonstrates the magnitude of the challenge in eradicating it.
Over 1.9 billion people, or 26.2 percent of the world’s population, were living on less than US$3.20 per day in 2015, while close to 46 percent of the world’s population lived on less than US$5.50 a day.
“We are pleased to be part of this celebration, because of the importance we as an institution attach to the empowerment and development of youth in Liberia,” she added.
Coming to Liberia, she continued, a third of the countries in the region experienced negative income growth for the bottom 40 percent of their populations.
She noted that the poor suffered from multiple deprivations such as low consumption levels and lack of access to education and basic infrastructure services.
The new measures allow the World Bank to better monitor poverty in all countries, in multiple aspects of life, and for all individuals in every household. Liberia is no exception.
“I am happy that in Liberia, as you may have already heard, the Bank is working with the youth through the Youth Opportunities Project to help lift vulnerable youth out of poverty,” she said.
In Liberia, according to the World Bank Country Manager, the youth constitute about two-thirds of the population and it is important for “us to work towards helping the youthful population to acquire the requisite skills to attract jobs to help them out of poverty.”
Lechshenko said “I want to use this occasion to congratulate the Government for the successful development and subsequent launch of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Development and Prosperity.
“This development,” she said, will also work towards addressing the interest of Liberian youth population as seen in the theme for the National Youth Day in Liberia: Sustain the Peace, Foster Development Towards the Achievement of the Pro-Poor Agenda.
Jerry Zangar, Senior Program Officer of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP) at the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) also used the occasion to acknowledge the World Bank and other partners for supporting Liberia’s youth through the YOP program.
He said YOP a World Bank-funded project that is intended to provide opportunities for young people to have access to income. Mr. Zangar further added that the YOP is also targeting youth to end poverty.
World Bank Social Protection Specialist, Mack Mulbah urged young people to make use of the available opportunities that the bank is providing to them. Mr. Mulbah then pledged that the bank will continue to support the government through it is pro-poor agenda.
Meanwhile, the ceremony was attended by officials from the ministry of youth and sports and climaxed by a day-long soccer tournament.