Liberia: UN Women, Gender Ministry Sign U.S.$ 27,500 Agreement to Empower Liberian Seamstresses Produce Face Masks

The document, signed by both institutions, comes few days after the government of Liberia presented a check of L$40 million to Liberia National Tailors Union to produce one million face masks.

According to the agreement, the Embassy of Sweden funded project and implemented by UN Women will provide financial resources amounting to US$ 27,500 under the women, girls and children pillar led by the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Protection for the production of face masks.

The initiative is part of the UN Women's continuous effort to support the Government's response to the coronarivus pandemic.

Speaking during the signing ceremony at the conference room of the Gender Ministry located at the Ministerial Complex in Congo Town, Minister Williamatta Piso Saydee-Tarr said the initiative to produce 10,000 face masks will help to elevate the businesses of many seamstresses that are finding it difficult to stay afloat during the pandemic.

"We have women-led tailoring groups that will produce the face masks so that they can get something in their own pockets for being part of the fight and for being able to produce something for women and children to use and be protected," Madam Saydee-Tarr said.

Adding up, Liberia Country Representative of UN Women, Madam Marie Goreth Nizigama said the initiative will ensure that women in most vulnerable communities have masks to prevent themselves from COVID-19.

"We want to ensure that small businesses in the tailoring sector that are led by women and have been affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19 get assistance so that they can benefit from the production of masks and can continue with their activities to help their families," Madam Nizigama added.

She commended the Embassy of Sweden for its financial support given for the production of face masks.

Isatta K. Passewe is a seamstress and one of the beneficiaries. Her business, the Virtuous Women Multipurpose Corporation, has been struggling since the outbreak.

"Right now, most of our customers are not buying, most of them are not working. So, it is affecting us greatly," Isatta said.

"This initiative is going to benefit us a lot especially looking at the time we are sitting home doing nothing. It will economically empower us. As we carry on the production, whatsoever we will get from there, we can find something for our family to eat."

Another beneficiary, Tina Brisbane who runs a shop called 'Lappa Queen', says the project will help her business that is on the verge of collapse due to the economic crisis created by the outbreak.

"Our customers are not like before because of the present situation in the country but this initiative will help us a lot," Brisbane said.

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