Web Portal for COVID-19 Response Launched

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A group of private organizations across the country has announced the launch of a web portal, which is intended to ensure that information about donations from its members is publicly available for transparency.

The website, a brainchild of the Liberia Private Sector Executive Committee (LIPSEC), among other things, allows a business or individual to log onto a secure site and document the contributions that have been made to support the country in its efforts against Coronavirus from the onset of the disease arriving in Africa in February whether  in cash, kind or hours.

It also allows individuals and companies to sell or offer to manufacture 13 of the most essential medical supplies, including ventilators, N95 respirators, and testing materials.

Lowe, who is also the CEO of ArcelorMittal Liberia, added that “On the back end, it permits the government to map what has come into the country and how these donations have been deployed. The portal further complements other donor-mapping initiatives to ensure transparency and accountability with donor funding and other institutional assistance.”

LIPSEC’s effort brings together the work of the Private Sector Executive Committee (PSEC), under the direction of Incident Management System (IMS), along with the leader of the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group (EPSMG), providing a strong foundation for WAPSCON19.

WAPSCON19 is built upon the private sector’s efforts that were meant to curb the Ebola outbreak of 2014-16 through the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group.

“The Liberian private sector, at home and abroad, was a core part of eradicating the Ebola virus and sustaining the Liberian economy.  I had no doubt that the Liberian private sector and our partners would once again join with the Government of Liberia to contribute towards stopping the spread of the Coronavirus,” stated Mary Broh, Liberia National Response Coordinator of the Executive Committee on Coronavirus.

Broh was an early supporter of the partnership, believing it would bolster the government’s on-going efforts to achieve full transparency.

The ArcelorMittal Liberia CEO further explained that the collection of the private sector’s contributions has taken on a life of its own, mirroring identical partnerships across the private sector during the fight against Ebola.

PWC

The work on the platform is being done pro-bono by PricewaterhouseCoopers—Liberia (PwC) in response to their societal purpose of building trusts in society and solving important problems. PwC’s work, as well as the efforts of other volunteers, will be captured in this database, providing the government a visibility on the current response efforts to assist Liberian communities and to continue support to vulnerable populations still affected by the effects of Ebola.

Further, if a donor or other philanthropic organization requires private sector leverage ‘match’ to their funds, this transparent recording of all technical support expended provides a system for that organization to determine which donations may qualify.

According to PwC, “the web-based platform will serve as a tool to provide transparency and accountability and real-time information to the Government of Liberia, USAID (United States Agency for International Development), the private sector, Liberians in the Diaspora and other stakeholders.”

USAID

The funding that began the whole endeavour to record potential donations from the private sector to match a leverage requirement comes from funds that USAID wish to expend to continue the social recovery support of vulnerable cohorts still suffering from the effects of Ebola.

USAID have identified up to US$4.6 million, a significant portion of which requires private-sector matching funds, to implement development programs in Liberia.

In support of communities deeply affected by Ebola, the private sector contributions will now be accounted for and validated by LIPSEC.

“Support for social protection systems that help the poor and vulnerable is a cornerstone of USAID’s development assistance to Liberia. We are therefore extremely proud to be a part of this effort to mobilize and properly account for resources that help Liberia’s most vulnerable populations,” said USAID Liberia Mission Director Sara Walter.

Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States George S.W. Patten, who helped drive the partnership from the onset and secured the participation of the Diaspora in the United States and Canada, said, “Let me express my gratitude on behalf of the Government and people of Liberia to the LIPSEC team for creating this platform to assist in the national response to fight Coronavirus. I welcome these public-private partners.”

Before the launch of the website, PSEC had earlier created a virtual training on IPC for health workers, development of Standard Operating Procedures for Clinical Management of COVID-19, resources for the construction of 14 Military Hospital treatment units, the collection of medicines, medical supplies, PPEs and communication equipment for front-line healthcare workers and the establishment of a COVID-19 response dashboard.

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