By Lewis S. Teh
The Government of Liberia has urged 18 civil society organizations (CSOs) to make proper use of a USAID grant of US$1.5m by being transparent and accountable in its usage.
The US$1.5 million grant provided by USAID Liberia Civil Society Activity (CSA) was launched in Monrovia Tuesday, 27 June 2023.
“Henceforth, we are encouraging all CSOs that are receiving grants here today to exercise [a] high degree of efficiency, transparency, and accountability in the usage of any cents given by USAID Liberia under the terms and conditions of the grant,” said Mr. Abubakar Bah, Assistant Internal Affairs Minister for Urban Affairs.
Mr. Bah extended heartfelt gratitude to the United States government through USAID Liberia Civil Society Activity for the grant aimed at making local governance vibrant.
In the same vein, he reminded all CSOs about the famous adage which says ‘One who preaches equity must come with clean hands.’
“We also wish to extoll USAID for their commitment to building and delivering capacity of civil society organizations financially,” he continued.
Minister Bah further extolled Integrity Watch Liberia through USAID for the partnership in empowering the county council.
He said the role of civil society organizations in nation-building can’t be overly emphasized due to their strategic positioning between the governors and the governed.
Bah noted that CSOs are in the hearts and minds of citizens especially if they become unbiased, factual, reliable, and efficient in the discharge of their duties promptly to the citizenry.
The Internal Affairs official said civil society organizations serve as a conduit for getting balanced and accurate feedback from citizens as to how they have been led, and what are their expectations about legislation, policy formulations, and implementations.
Over the years, he said, there have been mounting and consistent calls for greater accountability and transparency from members of the CSOs.
He stated that calls have also been mounting for members of the public service to be accountable and transparent.
“This in my mind has greatly contributed to the minimization of corruption and information gap,” said Mr. Bah.
“We are very much excited for these grants, among other things to encourage collaboration for the extension of services beyond Monrovia.”
Mr. Bah expressed a hope that these CSOs will reach remote areas that the government may not have reached.
“For this, we once again say a big thank you to the USAID Liberia for providing this opportunity to our CSOs,” said Mr. Bah.
The USAID Grant, according to officials, has four key objective linkages between CSOs with shared priorities to increase their impact.