Paynesville City Corporation’s (PCC) application to start benefiting from its share of the US$170 million grant set aside for members of the network of 100 Resilient Cities (100RCs) has been given a boost with the visit of the Rockefeller Foundation’s (RF) Associate Director of City and Practice Management.
Ms. Liz Agbor-Tabi is visiting Cyvette Gibson, Mayor of PCC – the largest city within the municipality of the City of Monrovia.
Ms. Agbor-Tabi, who is also an expert in Health Policy and Planning, told journalists last Thursday, that Paynesville has done a great deal to qualify for the 100RCs program, “and this will ensure it gets the full benefits.”
She stated that the RF’s Resilient City Program is intended to help cities address some of the many challenges that they are faced with.
The RF’s Associate Director gave a presentation at the PCC City Hall on the importance of Paynesville becoming a member of the 100RC Program and its associated benefits.
As a member of the 100RC, Paynesville will gain access to tools, funding, technical expertise and other resources to build resilience to the challenges of the 21st Century.
Ms. Agbor-Tabi indicated that some of the challenges to be tackled by the 100RCs are urbanization, unemployment, globalization and lack of basic social services, including water.
“These issues put stress on cities’ abilities to grow and meet the needs of their fast growing populations, which the 100RC Program helps to devises strategies to tackle. Cities are interconnected and system failure in one city affects the others. Urban population is growing rapidly and so there are many challenges that need to be addressed by cities,” she further stated.
With experience in working with vulnerable populations, Agbor-Tabi said she is in Liberia to help the City of Paynesville develop a strategy to assist and address the challenges facing the city.
She further stated that Paynesville’s share of the US$170million will come as grant funding to hire a Chief Resilient Officer, who will be tasked to lead the citywide resilience-building process and engage stakeholders from across different government agencies, public and private sectors and various communities to incorporate diverse perspectives and knowledge.
Paynesville will also receive technical support to develop a resilience strategy that reflects the city’s distinct needs and the support and services as its City Council works towards implanting that strategy. The grant would be intended for use in two to five years.
Ms. Agbor-Tabi praised the PCC for having a “hardworking Mayor and team,” adding, “So we are here to also assist them in getting Paynesville to another level. They have been able to get the city through a very competitive process, which included interviews, site visitations and a long process. So, that shows their willingness to move this city forward.”
In a brief comment, Mayor Gibson recalled how in May she told journalists that her city’s selection to join the 100 Resilient Cities Network is not only a significant honor, but will give her the tools to support a better Paynesville “today, tomorrow and for future generations to come.”
“Our application recognized Paynesville’s commitment to better health infrastructure, proper water management, prevention of rainfall flooding and disease control.
“As a new member of 100RCs, we can work with the best in the private, government and non-profit sectors in developing and sharing tools to plan and respond to resilience challenges ahead.”
Four months ago, PCC was chosen from a list of over 325 applicants on the basis of their willingness, ability and need to become resilient in the face of future challenges.
Ten other cities on the continent, including Lagos, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Cape Town and Luxor in Egypt, joined Paynesville in making the 100RCs.
Eight American cities including Washington D.C., Seattle, Atlanta and Honolulu made it among the 100RCs, while three Canadian cities joined Montreal to the list. In the UK, two cities joined three that were already on the list to take the UK’s tally to five.