Liberia: CSOs Want 10 Percent Budgetary Allotment to RMNCH

Civil Society organizations and Citizen Groups have petitioned the National legislature to ensure 10% budgetary allotment to Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, child and Adolescent Health (RMNCH) in adherence to every woman, every child initiative or the conventional mandate which Liberia has acceded to.

In a statement recently, the groups said after an intensive National Budget Research in May 2019 organized and conducted by the Partnership for Sustainable Development involving the participation of several civil society organizations under the project Action for Accelerating Sexual Reproductive Health and Policy Implementation funded by Amplifying Change, a British Charity, the research which covers 2014-2019 fiscal years showed that the government of Liberia during the five fiscal years did not fund health to reach 15% target set by the Abuja Declaration.

The groups recounted that the highest percentage of financing health ever reached by the government was 11.1% in 2018/2019 fiscal year. They reminded the Liberian Government that in keeping with the Abuja Declaration, the Government of Liberia in the five fiscal periods should have financed the health sector with US$364, 315, 126.20 instead of US$305, 020, 602.00 financing that was realized, meaning a gap of US$59,294,524.00.

The group said on a yearly basis the government should have budgeted additional US$11,858,904.0 for the five fiscal periods 2014-2019.

The groups' research also showed that the government of Liberia didn't fund Reproductive maternal Newborn Child and Adolescent Health to reach the 10% target set by the conventional mandate or every woman, every child initiative which calls for all countries to allot 10% of their respective health budget to RMNCH.

"On the contrary to this mandate, the government didn't allot for two fiscal years 2014/2015 to 2016 to RMNCH. In 2014/2015, US$50,000.00 was allotted counting 0.0799% and 2015/2016 US$600,000.00 was allotted accounting for 1% of the national health budget respectively. This is far less than the 10% international RMNCH financing requirement," the groups said.

Meanwhile, the groups want the National Legislature to invite authorities of the Ministry of Health to show cause why since the expiration of the National Roadmap for accelerating the reduction of maternal and newborn morbidity in Liberia 2007/2015 has not been renewed since four years ago.

The groups also want the National Legislature to reference the National Health Financing Policy plan 2011 to 2021 and the Liberia National Health Investment Case 2016/2020 documents during the budget approval so as to take into consideration health financing targets as laid down in these health policy documents.

Receiving the petition, Montserrado County electoral district four Representative and Chairperson of the House's committee on Claims and Petitions, Rustolyn Suacoco Dennis thanked the petitioners for the reminders and promised to push their quest to the plenary, the highest decision-making body in the House of Representatives.

Representative Dennis assured them that she will lobby with her colleagues to consider some good funding to the RMNCH. TNR

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