The German Federal Ministry for Economic Corporation and Development has made a financial donation of €15 million, through the German Development Bank (KfW), to strengthen the health delivery system in four southeastern counties, including Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru and Sinoe.
The donation seeks to build or rehabilitate nine health faculties and to provide equipment and staff accommodation in the targeted counties.
According to the partners, it is a four-year project to be implemented by Welthungerhilfe (WHH) Liberia in collaboration with authorities at the ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Health and Internal Affairs.
The project is also expected to have water supply systems, solar power as a source of electricity, selected biomedical equipment, and training of health workers on the use of the equipment; management and maintenance of the facilities for the purpose of sustainability.
In addition, it will address the root causes of malnutrition through a multi-sector approach of linking agriculture and natural management toward nutrition security.
WHH made the disclosure at a one-day meeting held on Wednesday, October 30, 2019, in Monrovia.
The meeting was intended to orientate key stakeholders involved in the implementation of the project.
Since Liberia recovered from the deadly Ebola epidemic (2014-2015), the health system remains a challenge with a dire need for improvement, especially in the Southeast region.
In this part of the country, many health facilities lack proper infrastructures, equipment, drugs supplies and trained health workers.
In earlier assessments of the health needs in the Southeast, the improvement of the physical structures of various health facilities was identified as one of the main priority areas, which also aligns with pillar one of the government’s five-year strategic plan – the Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PADP), or power to the people; a section of universal access to basic health service delivery and infrastructures.
WHH Country Director Johan Vander Kanp told participants that the gesture was the Government and people of Germany’s way of identifying with Liberia.
Kanp said that despite the difficult economic situation facing Liberia, there is a need for the government and partners to work together to bring about positive changes in the various sectors.
“Liberia is in a very difficult situation, therefore we need positive news from everyone to show it’s possible to come up with positive results. This is why we must join hands together to take the necessary steps,” he said.
Kanp said that Liberian health workers were experiencing “very hard” working conditions in rural areas, while performing their various duties, adding, “Most of them are working under extreme conditions.”
“Health workers are working without drugs and proper equipment at many of the health facilities across the country and in tough conditions, for which I think they must be commended,” he said.
Mr. Kanp called on stakeholders to work with his organization, to ensure the successful implementation of the project.
Dr. Francis Nah Kateh, Chief Medical officer and Deputy Minister for Health, assured the government’s commitment to work with WHH for the project to succeed.
“We as officials from the Ministry of Health are highly pleased with the donation from the German government. It will surely assist our health sector in this critical time,” Kateh said.
He said that the government and people of Germany are doing “excellent job in the health sector by constructing health facilities, something which is improving the resilience of the sector.”
“We are grateful to the German government for what they’re doing, and will continue to do,” Dr. Kateh added.
He said that the Ministry is committed to working with WHH in addressing those challenges that are associated with the project.
Although there is a low budgetary allocation to the Ministry, it will work to create an enabling environment, so that health workers remain committed to their duty for the sustainability of the facilities when completed.
Dr. Kateh stressed the need for rural communities to take ownership of various health facilities in their respective localities.
About the BMZ
The Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (German: Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung), abbreviated BMZ, is a cabinet-level ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany. Its main office is at the former German Chancellery in Bonn with a second major office at the Europahaus in Berlin.
Founded in 1961, the Ministry works to encourage economic development within Germany and in other countries through international cooperation and partnerships. It cooperates with international organizations involved in development including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and the United Nations.