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Gender Ministry targets 2,000 girls

The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection has launched a Girls’ Ebola Recovery Livelihood project, targeting about 2, 000 girls across the country.

Making remarks at the official launch in Monrovia on Tuesday, April 11, Gender Minister Julia Duncan Cassell says the project is an important milestone for several reasons, adding that the project is one of the government’s response programs to reduce suffering caused by the deadly effects of the Ebola virus that badly affected the economy.

“Research shows that almost any investment we make in women and girls will have multipliers effects, this is true but only to the extent that government provides an environment that is conductive to the empowerment of women and girls, and the creation of good jobs”, Minister Duncan-Cassell said.

She narrated that the EVD outbreak in Liberia led to loss of livelihood for many Liberians, and this is why the Government of Liberia is forging partnership to come up with a breakthrough strategy, which brought about the launch of the project.

Madam Duncan-Cassell says the reason why the Ministry is strictly focusing on adolescent girls is because during the EVD crisis in Liberia, it conducted a telephone call campaign among 1, 080 girls across three counties, saying this was intended to assess girls’ well-being and let them know that the Ministry was highly concerned about their plight Giving an overview of program, the Project Manager, Madam Vivian Neejay Innis, says this is one of government and her partners’ response program to reduce suffering caused by the devastating effects Ebola on the Liberian economy.

She says the project aimed at providing income support to adolescent girls, who have lost their livelihoods because of the deadly EVD outbreak, as well as promoting inclusive economic growth in the country.

The ceremony was attended by government officials from line Ministries and Agencies, including members of the Diplomatic Corps, local and international partners, students, women and girls, among others.

Madam Innis noted that about 2,000 adolescent girls who were already engaged in self-employment activities before the outbreak, and whose businesses collapsed or are on the verge of folding up, would be considered, adding that half of the selected beneficiaries will be previous beneficiaries of economic empowerment of adolescent girls and young women program.

She noted that the project supports the ultimate goal of strengthening the country’s safety net system and its ability to respond to shocks, while increasing resilience of poor households that have been adversely affected by the EVD outbreak, as well as promoting growth.

“As we are aware, women constitute a huge portion of our population, their inclusion in economic development lies at the heart of sustainable development in every way conceivable, but realizing this goal fundamentally depends on realizing their economic rights, and also looking at sustainability in our national context”, the Project Manager emphasized.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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