The City of Paynesville, outside Monrovia, has been admitted to the group of 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation and dedicated to helping member cities around the world become more resilient to physical, social, and economic challenges of the 21st Century.
At a one-day workshop at the Paynesville City Hall yesterday, 100RC Associate Director, Ms. Liz Agbor-Tabi, presented a plaque of acceptance to Mayor Cyvette Gibson, and welcomed the City of Paynesville as its newest member.
The announcement preceded Ms. Liz Agbor-Tabi’s presentation of what it meant for Paynesville to earn the membership, and defined the meaning of a resilient city as it relates to the initiative.
She said 100 Resilient Cities defines “resilience as the capacity of individuals, communities, institutions, businesses, and systems within a city to survive, adapt, and grow, no matter what kinds of chronic stresses and acute shocks they experience in the event of disasters, such as fires, earthquakes and floods.”
Ms. Agbor-Tabi in a series of demonstrations helped the nearly 54 participants representing communities and organizations in Paynesville to appreciate Paynesville’s remarkable achievement through the persistence of Mayor Gibson to chart the way for better improvement for the residents.
“Through 100 Resilient Cities, cities will receive financial and logistical guidance for establishing an innovative new position in city government, a Chief Resilience Officer, who will lead the city’s resilience efforts, and technical support to develop a holistic resilience strategy that reflects each city’s distinct needs,” she said.
Member cities, including Paynesville, will also have access to an innovative platform of private sector and non-governmental agency (NGO) services to support strategy development and implementation, along with inclusion in the 100 Resilient Cities Network to share knowledge and best practices with other member cities.
The Chief Resilience Officer, according to Mayor Gibson, would be her top-level advisor to bring stakeholders from across the community and sectors of society to make use of building tools and experts to develop a resilience strategy.
Deputy Minister for Rural Development at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Stephen Y. Neufville, expressed the central government’s appreciation and appealed to residents to get involved in the development of their community. He commended Mayor Gibson for her achievement and assured her of government’s support in her drive to enable her city to achieve government’s transformation agenda.
He said that since being admitted into the membership of the 100RC is highly competitive, Paynesville’s achievement demonstrates a new positive direction for the country.
The 100RC will help Paynesville to become more resilient and benefit from a global practice of resilience building. 100RC began working with their first cohort of 32 cities in December 2013, and announced their second class of 35 cities in December 2014.
100RC examined stresses, including high unemployment, an inefficient or overtaxed public transportation system, endemic violence or chronic food and water shortages and how a city can better respond to them and be more capable of delivering basic functions in both good and bad times.
The program is financially supported by The Rockefeller Foundation and managed as a sponsored project by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors (RPA) that provides governance and operational infrastructure to its sponsored projects.