-Calls for Localization to support women’s initiatives across the country
To support humanitarian activities in the country, the Liberian Women Humanitarian Network has launched its organization aimed at being prepared and responsive during humanitarian crisis both in Liberia and the world at large.
ActionAid Liberia Country Director Lakshmi S. Moore, who officially launched the network on Wednesday in Monrovia, said women have always remained the front-liners during humanitarian response, especially in Liberia.
“We are happy today to launch this organization, because we need to support women during humanitarian crisis in the community and the country generally,” Mrs. Moore said.
According to her, the preparedness of community, especially women to response to disaster remains cardinal, noting that lack of community readiness to handle problem will create more problem instead of solution.
“We all recalled that the outbreak of the Ebola mainly affected more women than men in Liberia. We need such network to handling some of the issues within the community in the area of preparedness and direct response to humanitarian situation,” Lakshmi Moore said.
“ActionAid Liberia is ready to promote the network, and work to ensure that women’s issues are addressed throughout the country at all levels,” she said.
According to Mrs. Moore, the network is now competent to respond to the crisis and other issues within the communities, indicating that “we have seen the revolution of the network and are now capable to respond to any public health crisis due to previous experience, especially during the Ebola crisis and the situation in Haiti.”
She further stressed the important of localization, referencing the Ebola crisis in Liberia as a case of how local organizations help to curtail the virus.
She pledged ActionAid’s commitment in working with the women to support the network and ensure that women and children are better serve at all levels during the humanitarian response.
Agnes Freeman-Kormon, project manager and girls advocacy alliance of Plan International Liberia, described the initiative as one of great importance for Liberia.
“We (Plan International) are going to be a partner to this initiative, because it works best for the people of Liberia and the women in particular and the community in general,” Mrs. Freeman-Kormon noted.
Henry O. Williams, executive director of the National Disaster Management Agency, said he was delighted to see the birth of such organization that would support the government’s effort.
“We will work with you as key partner in every disaster crisis in Liberia. We want you to always reach to the office and also work with us, including attending meetings of the agency,” Mr. Williams urged the network.
Brenda B. Moore, executive director of Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP) and member of the Liberian Women Humanitarian Network, called for localization of the network in order to yield sustainable results during humanitarian response.
Brenda Moore said most often, international partners provide the support during crisis, but also lack sustainable process, which usually leaves the communities vulnerable, especially women and children who are mainly affected.
She further recounted that women remain the first responders during crisis, indicating that “When the children and the husband are sick, the woman is charged with the responsibility to handle the situation.
“We have to recognize the women’s level of respond during crisis. We have to appreciate the importance of women. We have made the difference during crisis and will continue to do as women,” she said.
Mrs. Tulay-Solanke said the network is poised to decentralize its activities across the country.
“We are emphasizing the importance of working with women especially in the various communities during humanitarian crisis,” Mrs. Tulay-Solanke said at the launch of the network in Monrovia.
According to Mrs. Tulay-Solanke, a plan to decentralize the network has been worked out, which is intended to avoid women from Monrovia of implementing humanitarian work in other counties.
“We will not have to leave from Montserrado County to engage in humanitarian services in Nimba County. So we have to work with women organizations in Nimba and other counties to carry out the work instead of people from Monrovia. We have to ensure that women across the country are prepared to respond and support humanitarian work,” she added.