The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on June 4, launched a project costing over US$57 million to help revitalize the Liberian Health Sector.
The project will be implemented by the Collaborate Support for Health (CSH) and the Partnership for Advancing Community-based Support (PACS), supervised by USAID.
At the launch, U.S. Ambassador Deborah Malac reflected that the past months have shown that a functional healthcare system is critical to Liberia’s overall economic development.
During the Ebola crisis, she recalled, Liberian healthcare workers struggled to deliver needed health services for those affected, as well as to Liberians who desired basic services such as immunization, antenatal care and treatment for malaria.
Ambassador Malac expressed satisfaction that the U.S. Government remained a steadfast partner throughout the Ebola crisis, committing over US$1 billion to fighting the virus in the West African sub-region.
She disclosed that through USAID, her government has provided US$47 million annually to support Liberia’s health system up to 2015, in line with the National Health and Social Welfare Policy and Plan.
At the core of the U.S. health development program in Liberia, United States’ direct support to the Ministry of Health through “Fixed Amount Reimbursement Agreement” (FARA) supports the delivery of basic health services in over 200 health facilities covering more than one third of Liberia’s population. FARA support covers six counties, including Bong, Nimba, and Lofa, and targeted facilities for maternal health services in Margibi, Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties.
The support from USAID to the health sector is in line with the 10-year Health and Social Welfare Policy and Plan, providing direct financing to the Government of Liberia for delivery of quality health services and technical assistance to strengthen management, governance, and human capacity in the health system.
The assistance, USAID and partners said in a statement, will support restoration of the health system following the Ebola crisis in line with Liberia’s Investment plan for building a resilient health system.
The two programs, CSH and PACS, bring together a set of international and Liberian non-governmental organizations with extensive experience in expanding access to health services, and will specifically benefit the Ministry of Health, Bong, Lofa and Nimba Counties.
The USAID CSH 5-year Program targets US$32.4 million and will be implemented by the Management Sciences for Health (MSH), and its partners including the Development Innovations Group, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Jhpiego, and Results for Development.
CSH according to its plan of action will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and Bong, Lofa, and Nimba County health teams to expand access to and quality of health services, and with the Ministry of Public Works.
The Partnership for Advancing Community-based Services (PACS), through its 5-year, US$24.8 million program will focus on increasing access to quality community-based health and social services through capacity building and system strengthening, support for health communications, and improved access to safe water and sanitation services.
PACS will also provide strategic support to the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection and Ministry of Public Works, at county level. Its partners include International Rescue Committee (IRC), Global Communities, Population Services International (PSI), Planned Parenthood Association of Liberia (PPAL), and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA).
Meanwhile, Minister of Health designate, Dr. Bernice Dahn commended the U.S. Government for the assistance.
Dr. Dahn said the assistance is meaningful and comes at an opportune time to help MOH to fully implement its health plan drawn in 2006.