Liberia: 'EU Remains Committed to Supporting CSOs'

-- Says EU Chargé d'Affaires; launches Euros 4M SEAL project

Chargé d'Affaires of the European Union (EU) in Liberia, Juan Antonio Frutos Goldaratz, has assured the Liberian government and partners of EU's commitment to strengthen and support civil society organizations (CSOs).

Goldaratz underscored the importance of the CSOs, which he said are critical actors in any democratic governance process and, therefore, should hold stakeholders accountable to properly address the needs of the citizens.

According to Goldaratz, EU considers CSOs as an essential partner, and will ensure that their voices are heard in partnership with other institutions, including political and human rights dialogues, and in development cooperation.

He made these remarks on Friday, March 22, 2019 at the launch of a four-year EU funded project, entitled, "Supporting Effective Advocacy in Liberia" (SEAL). The project was launched in partnership with the Liberian government.

The SEAL project will target 11 national CSOs, the National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) and 15 other community-based organizations (CBOs).

The SEAL project, otherwise known as the Euros 4 million project, will be implemented by Mercy Corps and Kvinna till Kvinna, two not-for profit organizations, leveraging their combined expertise in engagement with civil society, governance and gender.

Mercy Corps Country Director, Kwesi Gyeabour and Kvinna Till Kvinna Country Director, Mari Paz Ortega

Goldaratz said that in 2017, the EU and the Liberian government launched an EU roadmap and action plan for engagement with CSOs in the country. The SEAL project is part of the roadmap, and it is financed from the 11th European Development Fund.

The Assistant Minister for Development Planning, Benedict Kolubah, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, gave the support and commitment of the Liberian government to the SEAL project.

Participants after the launch of the SEAL project funded by EU, to be implemented by Mercy Corps and KTK.

The SEAL Project, Kolubah said, aligns with key objectives and pillars of the Government of Liberia's Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Earlier, SEAL Acting Project Manager, Emmanuel Aziebor, said the objective of the project is to strengthen CSOs to contribute to inclusive wealth creation for a more equal and transparent society in support of the Government of Liberia's PAPD.

"The project will provide technical and financial inputs at key moments of selected CSOs' organizational development, while supporting gender mainstreaming in their operations," Aziebor added.

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