Health, Electricity, Roads Top SDG Awareness

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Students at the ongoing SDGs awareness

MFDP targets 60,000 students

The director of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), D. Emmanuel Williams, II, said health, electricity, roads and education are among the other top priorities of students across the country on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Africa 2063.

The SDG was formally launched in Liberia in 2016 as a means to end poverty and hunger,  improve nutrition, and to ensure inclusive quality education for all Liberians. The government’s priority works with the popular agenda, “Leave no one behind.”

Against this backdrop, employees of the Budget and Development Department at MFDP have been taking the goals of the SDG to students  for assessment.

At Thursday’s event, a cross section of students from various schools in Brewerville, Central Monrovia and Barnersville communities expressed appreciation for the SDGs. They expressed the hope that current and future governments will see reason to implement their objectives.

Students have begun appreciating the SDGs, which were initiated to meet the needs of the current generation without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

Following the meeting with employees of the MFDP at the Brewerville City Hall, students of Nathan E. Gibson Memorial High School and others said they were coming across literature on the working document of the SDG for the first time.

“I think this is good for our country. Actually, this working document is good for  us young people,” Moses Peter of Paynesville Community High School told the Daily Observer at Thursday’s ceremony.

Earlier, the students engaged the MFDP employees with questions intended to clear some of their doubts about the SDGs.

When the students asked about the achievements of the Agenda for Transformation, a component of the Ministry’s strategy for national development, the director for Plan Development and Coordination, P. Morris Kromah, named electricity, the county service stations, and the construction of additional schools across the country as some of the achievements.

Mr. Kromah said even though many more achievements are needed to complete the SDGs, “those achievements are making positive impacts on the population, particularly the youth.”

When asked about the achievements of the SDGs, Mr. Kromah said the SDGs have thus far not made much progress as anticipated, but said much of their implementation is left for the next government.

“What we are doing is to prepare something for the next government. But for now we are doing fragility assessment and then pass it over to the next government,” Mr. Kromah told the students.

D. Emmanuel Williams, II, Director for Monitoring and Evaluation Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning

Mr. Williams said Liberia has committed itself to domesticate both SDGs and Africa 2063, thereby carrying out awareness to get the people’s input.

As part of the domestication, he said, “Liberia as a country has decided to implement one plan, which is to develop the national plan and incorporate SDGs relevant to Liberia and Africa.

“It’s important for the citizens to know what the SDGs are and their importance to Liberia, and how Liberia can domesticate them. The current campaign targets students, unlike the previous awareness that captured everyone, including business people, students and others,” Director Williams said.

Sidiki Quisia, Officer-In-Charge of the SDGs at the MFDP, said the goals address the needs of people in Liberia and other developing countries, emphasizing that no one should be left behind.

He said the agenda addresses three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental, as well as important aspects related to peace, justice and effective institutions.

Mr. Quisia said the 17 SDGs build on the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which specifically aim to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women. Its other goals are to reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

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