The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with the Mano River Union (MRU) has turned over an assortment of supplies to be used in border counties as part of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNDP and MRU are collaborating under a project titled: “Support to the Mano River Countries in COVID-19 Response at the Borders.”
The project focuses on support to healthcare systems, border awareness and sensitization, to enhance prevention and response and improve cross-border surveillance and cooperation among MRU countries.
It is aimed at significantly reducing cross-border transmission of COVID-19 and strengthening risk communication, community engagement and awareness.
Speaking at the handover ceremony on June 3, 2020 in Monrovia, the Resident Coordinator of MRU Christian Jallah, Sr., described UNDP as a “True Development Partner in the region” for its unwavering support to Liberia.
Mr. Jallah said the donation of COVID-19 materials to the Liberia Immigration Service (LIS) through the COVI-19 National Response team was essential because it is during this period of the pandemic that everyone is involved in ensuring that the virus is defeated.
The virus, according to him, has disrupted every economic and social activity, and not only in the MRU basin but across the world.
“It is against this backdrop that the MRU thought it was important to work with development partners in search of resources to ensure that the region, in general, has all the necessary materials to combat this virus.”
“Over the past few months we have seen COVID-19 on the increase in the MRU region; as such, this intervention is done in collaboration with the UNDP and the MRU, which seek to assist the government of Liberia in the fight against the virus,” he said.
His remarks were also buttressed by the Commissioner of the Liberia Immigration Services(LIS), Robert Budy.
Commissioner Budy recounted the UNDP’s continued support to the government, especially in the justice system. He lauded the partners for their support, describing it as necessary for cross-border activities in the MRU basin.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Operations Mulugeta Abebe emphasized that the spread of COVID-19 to the Mano River countries presents a challenge, especially given the continued high levels of poverty, inadequate healthcare systems and funding as well as the state of economies.
The supplies target 22 border Communities in Maryland, Lofa, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount counties.
The assortment of materials include thermometers, PPEs (Personal Protective Equipment), hand washing buckets, hand sanitizers, face shields, nose mask, alcohol, awareness materials, protective hand gloves, Clorox, megaphones, etc.
They were turned over to the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the office of the National Response Coordinator of the Executive Committee on Coronavirus (ECOC) at the GSA compound.
Madame Broh extolled the role of UNDP and other partners in the Covid-19 fight, stressing accountability and transparency in the distribution of the supplies.