8 February 2013

Liberia: Seven Million U.S. Spent On Child Protection

The outgoing Country Representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) -Liberia, Isabel Crowley has disclosed that US$7 million was spent on child protection, US$6 million on education, and US$12 million on the health sector, respectively during her tenure here.

At a farewell ceremony with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia, Madam Crowley informed the Liberian leader that a total of US$30 million was spent in 2012 to implement the country program, and assured that the amount will increase to about US$40 million in 2013. She revealed that education, child protection and healthcare were the main components in the Fund's 2012 Country Program.

Crowley praised President Sirleaf and her Government for supporting the work of UNICEF in Liberia, and called her an inspiration for local and international partners working in the country. She assured the President that UNICEF will continue to work with the Liberian Government to move the Agenda for Children's Rights forward.

"It is very sad to know that I am leaving Liberia, but I will always endeavor to be in and out of Liberia and help in whatever way I can for the children of Liberia," Ms. Crowley assured the Liberian leader.

Crowley used the occasion to praise the Ministers of Gender and Development, Health, Youth and Sports, Labour and Justice, respectively for their critical roles in preparing Liberia's Country Report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, in implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, noting that their contributions were indispensable.

An Executive Mansion release issued in Monrovia says Crowley also recalled UNICEF's involvement with the process of establishing the Liberia Development Alliance (LDA), to coordinate the development initiatives of Government, international partners, civil society and the private sector. She was accompanied by the UNICEF-Liberia Deputy Country Representative, Dr. Fazlul Haque, and Communication Specialist Miraj Pradhan.

Speaking earlier, President Johnson-Sirleaf informed the outgoing UNICEF Representative that the meeting was an opportunity to show Liberia's appreciation to her for four years of productive service to the nation and its children.

"You have been very helpful in supporting the Government to respond to the needs of the children of Liberia," President Sirleaf stressed.

She recounted UNICEF's support to the Children's Festival held at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville for several years, support to the Liberia Children's Parliament, the Gender Ministry, as well as financing the preparation of Liberia's report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child, as major instances of support to the Government of Liberia.

The Liberian leader however urged the outgoing UNICEF-Liberia chief to see Liberia as her home, and hoped that she would return, in the future, to see the fruits of the work she has done for the Liberian people.

"You stayed here much longer than is allowed because we pleaded for your stay based on the quality of work UNICEF was doing in Liberia under your leadership," the Liberian leader noted. President Sirleaf subsequently presented a formal letter of appreciation to Ms. Crowley in recognition of her valuable services to Liberia.

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