The Government of Liberia and partners have signed the 2021 National Population and housing Census Project Document in Monrovia with an estimated cost of US$18.9 million.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning Samuel Tweah, who chairs the Board of Directors of the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-information Services (LISGIS) and the Director-General of LISGIS Professor Francis Wrehsigne for government, while the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Resident Representative to Liberia, Dr. BannetNdyanabangi and the Ambassador of Sweden to Liberia, Ingrid Wetterqvist signed for their respective institutions and government.
The Government of has contributed US$17 million to the National Population and Housing Census Project, while the Government of Liberia is providing US6 million to the exercise that officially kicks off in March, 2021.
Making remarks after the signing ceremony held in the LISGIS Conference Room in Monrovia, Minister Tweah said it is wonderful that government and partners have achieved the document, which he noted, was delayed for a good reason to ensure the right things are done.
He thanked the Government of Sweden for its huge contribution as well as the the World Bank Group and other partners, and assured that the Government of Liberia’s commitment to fulfilling its contribution of US46 million with an initial $3 million being budgeted.
U.N. Resident Coordinator and UNFPA boss Dr. Ndyanabangi describes the census project document as an important milestone in the cooperation between the GOL and UNFPA.
“We sincerely hope that the collaborative effort that we have achieved thus far will continue and we can collectively work towards putting the country on course to fully achieve the census programme goals”, he said.
He said with UNFPA as the lead, the United Nations Country Team in Liberia in February 2017 agreed to work together to deliver a credible census for Liberia, hence, a UN Technical Committee was formed, comprising technical staff from various Un Agencies to support the conduct of the pending census.
“The cooperation is in the spirit of UN reform and Paris Declaration and Accra Principles in support of efforts at improving the quality of lives of the people of Liberia. UNFPA, as part of the UN Country Team in Liberia, has realigned its development assistance with the Government’s development plan ina period of peace and security consolidation as well as strengthening democratic governance towards attaining sustainable development in the country”, Dr. Ndyanabangi assured.
A representative from the Swedish Embassy in Liberia, who spoke on behalf of Ambassador Ingrid Wetterqvist, reportedly out of the country, urged the Government of Liberia to fulfill its commitment to the census process because it is a government-driven programme.
Earlier, the Director-General of LISGIS, Professor Wreh recalls that in 172 years, Liberia has conducted four census programmes, beginning with 1962, which produced a population of 1.2 million; 1974, a population of 1.5 million; 1984, a population of 2.1 million and 2008, a population of 3.1 million, respectively.He called on policymakers to be represented in the upcoming National Population and Housing Census, scheduled for March, 2021.
Other partners at the ceremony, including the Government of Ireland and ECOWAS, among others pledged support to the census programme that is meant to produce quality data for economic and development planning; writes Jonathan Browne