-Various sectors including budget, salary harmonization to be impacted
The Swedish Government has increased its developmental support to Liberia covering the period between 2021 and 2025. Sweden has increased up to 40 percent funding in comparison with the previous; with 1.85 billion (SEK) expected to be used to enhance Liberia’s development in various sectors.
Sectors to benefit from the Swedish government‘s gesture include ‘Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, Gender Equality, Peace and Inclusive Societies and Inclusive Economic Development in accordance with the government’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The new strategy will be implemented through the UN family in close collaboration with the Liberian government and its agencies, with the Liberian civil society, the private sector, and other relevant actors.
Making the disclosure on March 1, 2021, at the Swedish Embassy in Monrovia at a press briefing on the new Swedish Development Cooperation Strategy with Liberia, 2021 – 2025, Ingrid Wetterqvist, Swedish Ambassador to Liberia, said the funding is to better the living conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression, strengthen the conditions for the realization of human rights and anti-corruption measures that will reduce gender-based violence, and increase access to and respect for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
“The new strategy confirms Sweden’s commitment to being a critical and long-term partner to Liberia and reaffirms our support to the government’s ambitions as expressed in the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development” Ambassador Wetterqvist added.
According to her, the strategy is a reflection of what is happening in Liberia and its challenges, which is why her government decided to increase its financial support in the area of environmental climate change.
Ambassador Wetterqvist noted that human rights are key in every development and there is a need for a system of peer review between member countries of the United nation (UN) of which Liberia has just concluded its universal periodic review of its implementation of the human rights convention.
Johan Romare, Head of the Swedish Development Cooperation in Liberia, said “Election is important and it is a part of every democracy and the Swedish embassy will continue to support election process in Liberia, helping government agencies to do their jobs and also support civil society organizations and others who hold government accountable.
Johan said the funding will also be directed to budget handling. “We will support the government in handling the national budget in a decent way and the national census that is coming up, which is key for understanding the statistics of Liberia and also a huge support for harmonization of salaries.”
He added, “We will continue to support civil society in Liberia to continue to develop and take their space to do their part of the development agenda; organizations working with people living with disabilities and different disabled persons in Liberia, which is a big population in Liberia as a human rights for their rights to live in dignity like anyone else.”
Johan disclosed that the Swedish embassy will also support CSOs that are working on accountability issues in the country to follow up on political promises and budgetary allocations, and to see to it that government lives up to its promises.
According to him, the embassy is also supporting gender equality, which is part of the UN system. “We will support women’s rights to sustain themselves to make money and have equal rights in terms of owning land and education”.
He noted that a peaceful and inclusive society is a top priority of the Swedish Government and that is why they have been supporting and will continue to support the peace of Liberia.
“We want to support economic growth that will enable people to harvest their fruit not just for eating but to sell and use the profit for education and sustainabilities,” he added. “We are connecting smaller roads to the bigger roads to help transport agricultural products and create jobs for the youth.”