MESSENGERS OF PEACE

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Our dialogue on Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development continues with a quote from Picasso when he said “Do not judge wrong what you do not know, take the opportunity to understand”.
In our attempt to understand the causative factors of poverty, cronyism, corruption and its impact on national development, we dialogued and agreed that the most common denominator to all three (cronyism, corruption and development) is poverty. We also agreed that Liberia is as varied as its people and cultures and that the elements of poverty and cronyism are guided by our mind set values, religious beliefs, politics, socio-economic status and cultures.
An argument ensued on the lay man’s definition of poverty and cronyism. Some peace messengers defined poverty as the inability to meet basic human needs; others defined it in economic terms and mentioned, the monster of youth unemployment and our dependency on donor aid and support to provide basic infrastructural needs of the country.
In our search for a universal definition, a peace messenger consulted Wikipedia that defined “Poverty is general scarcity or dearth, or the state of one who lacks a certain amount of material possessions or money” According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO), poverty is relative or absolute. “Absolute poverty measures poverty in relation to money necessary to meet basic needs such as food, clothings and shelter”. Whereas, relative poverty relates to the economic status of other members of the society.
The BBC advised that there is no single definition to poverty but whatever one’s perspective is on poverty, we found as profound, the definition of the Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacia Lula da Silva, when on the eve of the 2004 UN General Assembly he declared that the greatest weapon of mass destruction is chronic poverty.
Since the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, we have noticed the vast inequality gap between the “haves and “have nots”. We have equally come to notice how this unexpected virus has devastated our economic growth and development. We would overcome Ebola but the task ahead to eradicate poverty is huge and we must not be seen to be complacent and be pulled down by cronyism and corruption.
We must teach young people to live in peace and in country alleviated from poverty, cronyism and corruption which are precursors to national under development. We must also educate the population, especially those in positions of authority on what to do to take the lofty SDGs from rhetoric to reality.
Peace and Development in Liberia, especially as we cope with the aftermath of Ebola and the countdown to an Ebola free country is essential and achievable if we address issues of poverty, cronyism, bribe and corruption.
Our Ebola Educates programme continues and we seek your support. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the very important visitors to new MOP office located on Broad Street and look forward to others as we partner to eradicate Ebola from our country.
Until next week, when we come to you with another article on: “Ebola Educates: Poverty, Cronyism, Corruption and Development-Part III”, Peace First, Peace above all else, May Peace prevail on earth.

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