The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has donated six Land Rover and Cross-Country jeeps to the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS).
The vehicles, which cost US$270,000, are in support of LISGIS 2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS) program across the country.
During the turning over ceremony of the vehicles over the weekend in Monrovia, Global Fund Liberia office Program Manager, David Logan said due to the significant need of statistics gathering in the country, it was critically important that institution charged with the responsibility be empowered to function.
Mr. Logan said the country was heavily relying on data collection after years of civil conflict for development; as such, the need to empower LISGIS must be a priority.
He further indicated that data collection was one of the key elements in rolling out of Liberian government's development plan, and that this would only be possible if LISGIS is fully empowered.
Presenting the vehicles' keys to LISGIS Director General, Assistant Health Minister for 'Statistics, Chea S. Wesseh, said as the world comes to a close of the Millennium Development Goals, it was important that Liberia, as a country has new statistics in all sectors.
Assistant Minister Wesseh said this would enable the government to show its performance over the years to the world.
According to Minister Wesseh, the statistics were critical to the growth and development of Liberia because it gives the government the evidence as to what has been so far over the years in achieving the MDGs.
He urged LISGIS to use the vehicles for the intended purpose and produce quality data that would influence major decisions for the Liberian people.
In response, the Director General of the Liberia Institute of Statistics of Geo-Information Services, Dr. T. Edward Liberty thanked the Global Fund and the Ministry of Health for the gesture which, he said, would immensely enhance the institution's activities.
Dr. Liberty said there was an urgent need to update the 2007 Demographic Health Survey to ensure that the country is on par with current events.
The LISGIS Boss assured that the donation of the vehicles will enable his institution to provide an updated statistics within the health sector of Liberia.