The president of the National Union of Organizations of the Disabled (NUOD), Rev. Fallah S. Cymbianoh, says the major challenge facing the union is funding and disclosed that the organization does not have a stable source of funding to support its activities.
Subsidies provided by government through the National Commission on Disabilities cannot even cover the monthly rent of the Union’s office and presently, “we are facing eviction,” Rev. Cymbianoh announced in his address at the opening of the two-day National General Assembly of NUOD in Monrovia last Tuesday.
The Assembly officially opened by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, brought together delegates from all fifteen counties under the theme, “Getting to Zero New Ebola, Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities and Post-Ebola Recovery Plan.”
“To put it more bluntly Madam President, the Union is in a precarious financial situation,” said Cymbianoh, emphasizing the need to have at least 30 percent of the budget of the National Commission on Disabilities allocated to the Union to match its rising challenges.
Rev. Cymbianoh praised the European Union for its assistance since 2012 through a project that covered its rental obligations over the last few years but which has now expired.
While commending the President for reconstituting the National Commission on Disabilities and its role in directing the affairs of persons with disabilities, Cymbianoh appealed to her to appoint NCD’s leadership from a shortlist already provided to her through the office of Vice President Joseph Boakai.
In her address, President Sirleaf assured members of NUOD that irrespective of their physical conditions they are part of the Liberian nation as one people and deserve equal opportunities, pledging that her administration remains committed to support Liberians with disabilities in the government’s development agenda.
Her administration will not allow disability to be a disadvantage to their participation in the collective development of the country President Sirleaf said and promised to work along with NUOD in achieving the goals and agenda which emerged out of the Assembly.
The General Assembly also brought together various disabled people’s organizations from all 15 counties. They meet in March of each year. During the conference held at the Mildred Page Hall of the S. Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church, all chapters reported to the NUOD, which also makes a formal report of its activities for the past year.
Also during this Assembly, a new corps of officers was expected to be elected to run the affairs of the NUOD for a four-year term.