Vice President Joseph Nyumah Boakai, Sr. has acknowledged the immense contributions that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have made to impact the country’s recovery process.
According to him, the impact of NGOs in times of turmoil and the accompanying periods of healing and reconstruction have been so tremendous that the country would never forget or abandon them.
The Vice President made the assertion Wednesday, December 04, at the first annual NGO Fair, held at the Executive Pavilion in Monrovia under the theme, “Liberia’s Transformation through Partnerships.”
The fair brought together a conglomeration (collection) of the various NGOs that are operating in Liberia to highlight some of the projects they are undertaking across the country.
Based on this idea, the VP added that the Liberian Government is firmly focused on its duty of creating and sustaining the requisite enabling atmosphere for productive interactions between the people and the NGO community.
“As long as your work continues to proceed within the confines of established rules, your operations are assured of continuity in the enjoyment of full protection and support of this Government,” he assured the NGOs.
In his keynote address, VP Boakai stressed that NGOs have been a major player in promoting human-oriented development strategies, adding that, “they need to do more in rural Liberia and go beyond existing only on signboards [billboards].”
He explained that, “NGOs have provided critical humanitarian relief during our civil strife and remain helpful to Liberians when they experience natural disasters in their various communities, but it is time to move beyond being the mere voice of the “down trodden” and rather teach the voiceless to speak again and fight for themselves.”
“In the wake of the massive help we have gotten from NGOs and other supportive sources such as partnered governments, Liberians must find themselves challenged to rise to the occasion and take full charge of their own destiny,” he indicated.
The Vice President emphasized that the struggle to regain Liberia’s dignity is the real reason behind citizens’ quest for transformation. “As a people, we must renew hope and confidence in our own abilities to transform our country and shed the dependency syndrome that has gripped so many of us. We believe that partnerships with the international community are good because they help us to build strong institutions. But we must not become overly aid dependent and become perpetual wards of the donors or the NGO community.”