Monrovia — Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh has been appointed to chair the Economic Policy Committee of the Liberia Council of Churches (LCC).
The decision of the LCC comes following the 2nd quarter Executive Council meeting Friday, July 13, of 40 churches and Christian institution leaders.
The LCC established their Ecumenical Economy Policy Committee of renowned Liberian economists, corporate and business entrepreneurs to study the current financial situation and the economic crises in the country and recommend appropriate measures that will inform LCC's recommendations to the Liberian government in order to remedy the dire economic situation in the country.
"This action comes as an intervention based on the inflation in the prices of basic commodities on the Liberian market and the uncontrollable daily downfall of the Liberian dollar to the United States dollars; which is creating difficulty to the shrinking economy and as a consequence, misery to the ordinary people," an LCC release under the signature of its President, Bishop Dr. Kortu K. Brown, said.
According to the Council of Churches, in reaching this resolution, they reflected on the global spread of credible data including that Liberia has the worst record in the world: 62 percent according to UNICEF 2017 report, of school-aged children not in school, the second poorest country in Africa and the fourth poorest country in the world, according to the World Bank/IMF and African Development Bank 2017 reports, and the unprecedented worsening of the perennial and pervasive poverty in the country, as the USA-Liberia foreign exchange rocketed from 1:130 during the last quarter of 2017 to 1:160, as it now stands.
"Church members and other Liberians continue to raise alarm, demanding that the Liberia Council of Churches and other religious entities demonstrate relevance by taking action now to help stem the tide of the societal malaise and become pro-active, by taking action in collaboration with other national stakeholders, to prevent the reoccurrence of the malaise, with is violence-oriented dismal impact on the living conditions of the poor masses," the LCC statement further said.
The LCC stated that they had set up the Ecumenical Economic Policy committee, both in response to the prevailing economic situation and as an expert committee to the Council to provide professional guidance on matters of economic importance to the nation and its people.
Their decision is also intended to "demonstrate relevance through its concrete response to the Cries of the People."
Quoting the Bible book of Matthews, and chapter 22: verses 37 and 39, which requires one to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself," The Liberia Council of Churches (LCC) has delineated as its overriding objective, in attending to the societal malaise, the provision of information on the living conditions of the people in ways that motivate them to take constitutionally-based action to institutionalize the movement from mass poverty generation to the generation of the sustainable improvement in the living condition of the people.
Bishop Browne also stated that the terms of reference for the 12-person Ecumenical Economic Policy Committee (EEPC) shall include to determine the nature of the principal problem facing the poor of Liberia; determine the source (explanatory factor) of the principal problem facing the poor of Liberia: make recommendations for attending to the problem as determined by the EEPC; and present their first report to the Liberia Council of Churches by the end of July 2018.
"The report will form the basis for the LCC recommendations to the Government of Liberia and relevant partners. Renowned economist and staunch churchman, Dr. Togba Nah Tipoteh, has been appointed by the Executive Committee of the Council as Chairperson of the EEPC. Brother Tipoteh is a member of the Liberia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, a full-member church of the Liberia Council of Churches," the Council President disclosed.
In a similar development, the LCC has also set up a special committee chaired by Rev. Dr. Olu Q. Menjay, President of the Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention (LBMEC) and 2nd Vice President of the Liberia Council of Churches to develop an operational framework for an ecumenical committee that will review the current status on the recommendations and implementation of the TRC process by the Government of Liberia and subsequently adopt a position to advance peace and reconciliation in the country.
LCC said it is seriously concerned about the need to consolidate peace and stability and address questions of reconciliation and justice in the country.
It calls on all Liberians to continue to exercise patience and perseverance as efforts are being made by national stakeholders and Liberia development partners to address many of the challenges facing the country.