In an effort to improve the justice delivery system in Liberia by creating means for its citizens, to have access to justice, the Carter Center and the Government of Sweden have launched a US$7.5 million project through the Government of Liberia.
The project is aimed at improving access to Justice in country, especially for the underserved rural population of the country.
The Carter Center, an organization founded by former United States President Jimmy Carter, currently works with the Government on programs related to access to justice, access to information and mental health care.
The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) on Thursday January 23, 2014 launched the 7.5M project in Monrovia as part of its partnership with the Liberian Government and the Carter Center. The project is expected to last for three years.
In December 2013, the Carter Center and Government of Sweden entered into a partnership through the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia.
The agreement stands to support the Carter Center’s efforts to make justice more accessible for undeserved rural populations, including women and youth, and to strengthen community based dispute resolution for customary leaders.
The Chief of Party of Carter Center in Liberia, Mr. Pewee Flomoku, said that he and his organization are grateful to the Swedish government for the continuous investment in Liberia’s future and in particular, for their support to this project. “The more that ordinary people experience the protection of law, the stronger we will be,” he said.
He recalled that since 2006, the Carter Center provided civic education on the law to rural citizens. The agreement would help support the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) to provide free legal assistance. He said programming is also in partnership with Liberia’s Ministries of Justice and of Internal Affairs amongst others.
Mr. Flomoku disclosed, however, that while working with the grant for three years, the Center is also in search of donors in order to continue on the right path after the three year project with the Swedish Government.
He promised that the center would use the support wisely for the purpose intended and also work with the chiefs to serve the people of Liberia in helping them get access to justice.
For her part, Swedish Ambassador, Sofia Strand said Sweden regards the support to equal access to justice as an essential part of its overall aim to create conditions that would enable poor people to improve their lives, meanwhile strengthening democratic, equitable and sustainable development.
“Since the war, the Government of Liberia and the International Community have worked hard to strengthen the formal justice and security sector. My belief is that this assistance will offer continued support to empower men, women, boys, and girls in Liberia to obtain justice based on principles of human rights and strengthened gender equality while the reform of the formal system is taking place,” Amb. Strand added.
She mentioned that strengthening the capacity of traditional leaders is part of the three year support to the center.