11 March 2019

Liberia: Minister Tweah Envisions 'Gender-Sensitive' Budget

Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah Jr., says "the most gender-sensitive budget in Liberia's history" will be the 2019/2020 budget.

He said a lot of work has gone into mainstreaming gender into Liberia's development program.

Tweah made the disclosure at the formal launch of the Gender Responsive Planning Budget Policy and Gender Responsive Planning Budget (GRPB) National Coordination Unit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning on Thursday, March 7.

The GRPB Policy, according to him was achieved through "efforts of extreme collaboration" with development partners.

He lauded development partners for their support in mainstreaming gender in Liberia's development approach and assured partners that the government's development programs will reflect gender balance. "We are going to do our best on this. Anything we do will reflect gender balance. Whether it is budget planning, execution, road development, education and health, this will be a guiding framework," Tweah assured.

He informed partners that the government in the execution of its people-centered Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development will prioritize girls' education and the Gender Responsive Planning Budget Policy will be used as an instrument for such a purpose.

Also speaking, Deputy Minister for Budget, Tanneh G. Brunson, who gave an overview of the GRPB, said the policy has defined a clear road-map for mainstreaming Gender Responsive Budget into the government's Public Financial Management (PFM) processes.

Deputy Minister Brunson said it was necessary to advocate for gender mainstreaming and equity as the government implements its national development plan, the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.

She expressed the need to integrate gender equity and to align the policy objective with the country's development agenda and processes. The Deputy Minister added that Liberia has come a long way in understanding the concept of gender-responsive budgeting and in recognizing the importance to adopt the implementation of GRPB.

Brunson also expressed delight and said that strong commitment and determination was shown in the policy design and institutional structures to address gender inequalities in the country's PFM practices.

For his part, UN Resident Coordinator and Assistant Secretary-General, Yacoub El Hillo, thanked MFDP for leading the GRPB process.

Yacoub said Gender Responsive Budget is an important mechanism for ensuring greater consistency between the government's PAPD, economic growth, and social commitment.

He stated that the GRPB serves as a framework for the implementation of gender-inclusive budgeting at the national and sub-national levels. The UN Resident Coordinator indicated that the GRBP also brings about gender equality in public financial management.

The GRPB, he added, is important because it determines how public funds are generated, used and who benefits from public spending.

The Gender Responsive Policy Budget and National Coordination Unit will be located at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.


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