Liberia: PHIL Ends Two Days Advocacy Engagement

Public Health Initiative Liberia (PHIL) has ended a two-day strategic advocacy retreat with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to advance strategies to engage the government of Liberia, on the implementation of its commitment to protect and promote the health, well-being and rights of women, children and adolescents, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In December 2020, the government, through the Minister of Health, Dr. Whilemina Jallah signed-up to the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PNMCH)-COVID-19 Call to Acti

on, committing to five of seven actions aimed at protecting and promoting the health, wellbeing and rights of all women, children and adolescents across the country, through strengthened political commitment, policies and domestic resource mobilization and financing, supported by Official Development Assistance (ODA).

Through the commitment, the government of Liberia pledged to US$10.65 million to improve the health and well-being of women, children and adolescents, by supporting and building the capacity of health services providers, provide safe and accessible drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, as part of the COVID-19 Incidence Management System, and guarantee availability of critical life-saving equipment and medicine to ensure access to quality healthcare, to women, children and adolescents.

Through the collaboration of the Ministries of Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Justice, the government is expected to implement the commitment.

Nearly 25 CSOs in Liberia were convened in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, on Monday and Tuesday, July 19 and 20, to strategize and plan a road map for a robust and successful advocacy, for the successful implementation of government's commitment.

The organizations include, Equip Liberia, CHESS-Liberia, Big Sister Organization, Action for Girls Empowerment, Kids Development Initiative, CHAL, United Youth, Federation of Liberian Youth, FP2030, GDPO, WOMSUD, YAGEES, SEARCH, CSI, ROCH, FERD, and Liberia Health CSO Network (LiHCON), among others.

PHIL Executive Director, Joyce Kilikpo hailed the CSO representatives, for their participation in the meeting and commitment to engage the government on accountability for a successful implementation of the PMNCH-COVID-19 Call to Action commitment.

"Nothing for us, without us. So, we must get involved in ensuring that this commitment us fully implemented and successful," Miss Kilikpo said.

Anderson Miami, the Executive Director of the Center for Transparency and Accountability in Liberia (CENTAL) also encouraged the civil society actors to network and engage into the advocacy with sincerity and openness.

The stakeholder's engagement is the second in a series towards enhancing an inclusive and robust advocacy for the successful implementation of Liberia's commitment to the PMNCH-COVID-19 Call-to-Action. The first engagement brought together media practitioners in Monrovia. PHIL Executive Director said there will be other engagements, including a parliamentary hearing, bringing together all stakeholders, including members of the national legislature.

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