Liberia Contributes US$50K to UN Peacebuilding Fund

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Liberia has made a modest contribution of US$50,000 to the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund.

According to a dispatch from New York, Foreign Affairs Minister Marjon Kamara announced Liberia’s contribution at a Special Pledging Conference for the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund held on the margins of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

She noted the contribution came from a grateful heart, given that Liberia is a beneficiary of the Fund. She expressed optimism that over time, as Liberia’s economy overcomes the shocks of reduced prices of its natural resources, it could contribute more to the Fund.

Co-hosted by the governments of Kenya, Mexico, the Netherlands, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the conference was intended to build political momentum for addressing systemic and structural challenges related to sustainable financing for programs aimed at sustaining peace around the world. The Fund has targeted US$300 million for the next two-years – 2017-2019.

In her remarks, Minister Kamara extended deep gratitude to the co-hosts for organizing the Conference to increase donors’ contributions to and mobilize resources for the Peacebuilding Fund.

“Liberia’s partnership with the Fund has taken us closer to achieving our priorities, which we have defined to be reforming the security sector, restoring the rule of law, and promoting national reconciliation,” she highlighted.

This support proved critical during the fight against the Ebola virus disease, as the five regional Land Commission Centers, supported by the Peacebuilding Fund, offered a network through which trusted communications about the health response were delivered to local communities.

Recently, Liberia concluded a new Statement of Mutual Commitment with the Peacebuilding Commission, to which it remains committed. “The full implementation of this will lead to a further consolidation of peace and successful conduct of legislative and presidential elections in October 2017,” Minister Kamara indicated. She added that with Liberia’s contribution, the country demonstrates sincere gratitude and confirms the relevant and critical role the Peacebuilding Fund has played in sustaining peace in Liberia.

The PBF was established in 2006 through General Assembly Resolution A/60/180 and Security Council Resolution S/RES/1645 (2005). PBF enables the UN to seize political opportunities it would likely otherwise miss. Importantly, it enables partners to pool risk and respond coherently by providing initial or bridge financing for UN preventive and peacebuilding programs.

Despite positive assessments of the performance and impact of the PBF and calls for strengthening its role, the Fund is in danger of seeing its critical position weakened by lack of adequate funding. Already in 2015, the PBF was unable to meet its programming target because of funding gaps. Just in the first quarter of 2016, the PBF faced unprecedented demand of over US$120 million for investments in sustaining peace.

Already, US$152 million has been pledged and the resource mobilization effort will continue throughout the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly.

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