Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah,Sr. says the Government of Liberia is on a consistent incremental path to ensuring a sustainable and inclusive process on social development; especially addressing poverty and inequality.
Addressing the Plenary Session of the United Nations Committee on Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Issues (Third Committee) on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Ambassador Kemayah said the Government of Liberia is institutionalizing policies, programs, and legal frameworks to address social development issues, with the aim of “leaving no one behind”; and made specific reference to the Government's National Development Agenda–the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Ambassador Kemayah asserted that the Pro-Poor Agenda is premised on four development
pillars– Power to the People, The Economy and Job Creation, Peace Sustenance, and Good
Governance and Transparency; and identifies social protection as a key aspect to address
vulnerabilities and poverty in Liberia.
As evidence of its commitment to ensuring social protection, the Liberian Envoy informed the
United Nations that the Government of Liberia instituted social safety nets interventions to aid in food security and access to health and education for the most vulnerable, Said Ambassador Kemayah: The Government of Liberia has instituted the Social safety nets
interventions, which include cash transfer, in kind food transfer such as school feeding, take
home rations and nutritious supplementary feeding and food distribution; as well as general food and utility subsides.
These have aided in food security, facilitated access to health and education
for the elderly, women and children; and enabled the working poor to access improved incomes and the youth entrepreneurial opportunities.
On the Health Sector, Ambassador Kemayah pointed out that the health of the Liberian population takes central stage in the Government’s Pro-poor Agenda; with eight clearly articulated high-level targets; including maternal and child mortality reduction; reduction of malnutrition for children less than five (5) years; expansion of health care services to people beyond five (5) kilometers radius of the nearest health facilities; consistent provision of medicines and medical supplies to all public health facilities; and reducing high ‘out of pocket’ payment on households.
The Liberian Envoy also expressed the Government's commitment to achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) as demonstrated by efforts towards achieving the Abuja Declaration, which calls for fifteen (15) percent of the national budget to be allocated to health.
He stated that President Weah is very close to achieving this milestone, sitting at 14.3 percent, the highest in the ECOWAS Region, Ambassador Kemayah emphasized.
In furtherance of the Government's commitment, Ambassador Kemayah disclosed that the Ministry of Health in collaboration with Development Partners is working to accelerate the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Agenda through the development of a “Pro-Poor Agenda for
Health, a Roadmap to Universal Health Coverage and Health Security”– a mechanism intended to provide the marching order for the acceleration of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Liberia up to 2023.
“It seeks to strengthen the public health system to reduce the high maternal
and neonatal deaths in the country by increasing skilled health workforce, improving technical capacities; including the training of specialized doctors; locally and internationally; expanding health facilities network; while improving existing ones; improving diagnostic services and ensuring consistent availability of medicines and supplies; and to institute a sustainable health financing program for the country”, Ambassador Kemayah further explained.
Ambassador Kemayah named the strengthening of partnership as key to achieving Universal Health Coverage: “Being cognizant that achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) cannot be done in silos; our Government continues to galvanize multilateral efforts, collaborate, mobilize resources, and share lessons learned and best practices; and build partnerships that include Public Private Partnership at global level; and strengthen coordination and alignment at the national level” noted The Liberian Diplomat to the united Nations hailed the Secretary-General’s call to the United Nations System and its Development Partners to scale up financial and technical assistance to low and middle-income countries and support Governments’ efforts; as well as directing international cooperation towards facilitating the mobilization of additional resources in order to improve the quality of healthcare, education and water and sanitation.
Ambassador Kemayah then reassured the United Nations of the commitment of President George Weah and the Government of Liberia to ensuring social development for all Liberians, Saying: I’m pleased to inform this body that President Weah, the
Government and People of the of Liberia are on the right trajectory; and remain ever
committed to implement the core objectives of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social
Development; and the World Summit for Social Development with the aim of achieving
inclusive and sustainable economic growth that will ultimately result in improving the lives of all Liberians,Ambassador Kemayah concluded.