The Liberia Community Development and Governance Program (LCDGP), has disclosed that it needs over US$4 million to successfully implement its programs over the next two years. According to LCDGP officials, the money will support a chain of civil society organizations operating in different areas ranging from human rights, social justice, economic and environmental, amongst others, to implement several programs in rural Liberia.
The LCDGP is a coalition of 20 cross-country partner civil society organizations from across Liberia.
Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day assembly of the LCDGP in Monrovia, Foundation for International Dignity (FIND) Executive Director Mr. Roosevelt Woods said it is now time for the government of Liberia to provide financial support to civil society organizations.
“Civil society groups have reached a point where they see the government as a strong partner. So the government must now begin to support our programs which are geared towards improving the livelihood of ordinary Liberians who live mainly in rural communities,” he said.
The FIND boss emphasized the critical role of civil society institutions, mainly members of the LCDGP.
“We complement government’s efforts. Moreover, we pay taxes to the government,” Woods added.
Also speaking to reporters, the head of Rural Human Right Activism Program, Mr. Lorma Baysah, noted that limited funding is undermining the output of the 20 LCDGP-member organizations.
He said the US$4 million will help finance the entire program till 2015, the lifespan of the project.
Earlier, the national focal point for the Dutch-based Inter-Church Organization for International Cooperation (ICCO)-Liberia, Allen Lincoln, explained that the purpose of the LCDGP seminar is to strategize and plan how to execute the various programs and projects the institution does.
The two-day forum, according Mr. Lincoln, will allow participants the opportunity to draw their plan with inclusive of communication and fundraiser strategies.
“The seminar is the first for LCDGP members who come from 20 human rights organization,” he said. According to the LCDGP official, the LCDGP focuses on three thematic issues, namely: conflict transformation, peace building and democratization as well as human rights specifically at fair economic opportunities for Liberians and forest governance and land issues, amongst others.
“We are also expected to fully know about the status of the roll-out of the first of the project and that organizations will also draw a memorandum of understanding to work together and support each other,” Lincoln stated.
“The assembly is very important because it brings together all organizations and partners of ICCO. This is where we come to discuss the overall work of our organizations whether we have improved over the year and plan for the future,” observed the president of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia, Atty. Esther Seton-Cee. Madam Cee is one of the key participants at the LCDGP seminar ongoing at the Building Market on Carey Street.
She told our reporter that participants and partners were hoping to agree on a work plan for 2014.