15 November 2012

Liberia: Economic Crisis Threatens Peace

Liberia's Governance Commission (GC) has unveiled a rising feeling of economic injustice among a substantive portion of the country's population, warning that either land conflicts or natural resource management concerns could become a new source of conflicts here.

Making a PowerPoint presentation Tuesday in the National Elections Commission (NEC) conference hall on 9th Street, Sinkor on the GC's three-year draft strategic plan, Dr. Dominic Tarpeh said natural resource management has recently become a growing concern following the discovery of oil in Liberia.

He told an audience comprised of representatives from government cycle, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and other partners that land conflicts and property rights issues and their negative impact on development and potential for conflicts remain a major problem across the country.

"On the other hand, human rights and the rule of law, although improved, remain inadequately developed and practiced. The justice system is still largely weak and generally lacking in the people's confidence," said Dr. Tarpeh.

He further said unemployment is widespread and poverty remains pervasive, with approximately 56 percent of Liberians surviving below poverty line - less than US$1.00 a day.

Considering all of the challenges highlighted in the draft strategic plan expected to run from 2013 to 2016, the commission said it costs an estimated US$12,282,420.00 to implement its mandates plus cross-cutting issues and support for organizational development of the commission.

Out of the US$12m plus anticipated by the commission, the Liberian Government is expected to contribute 20 percent, while 80 percent will come from international community funding.

The Commission said, "If Liberia is to sustain her hard-won peace, consolidate the gains of the past six years, and take a quantum leap in political, social, and economic advancement, governance reform must continue on a sustained basis."

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