The Government and People of Japan have been very active in Liberia’s reconstruction and development agenda through their support to urban and rural infrastructural projects and food security.
Japan has financed many projects under Japan’s Non-Project Grant Aid. Projects under this grant include the construction of three (3) bridges in Grand Cape Mount County under the aegis of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, the reconstruction of ELWA-RIA corridor where alleyways in communities between ELWA junction and the Roberts International Airport would be opened by the Ministry of Public Works, and the implementation of the Japan-Liberia Paddy and Seed Rice Project managed by the Ministry of Agriculture.
The Foreign Ministry, on behalf of implementing ministries and the entire Government, considers the construction of the three bridges in Grand Cape Mount County as a critical intervention intended to enhance and improve rural community development through reconstruction of basic infrastructure that will increase delivery of economic and basic social services to the people in remote communities in that County. The project will connect three strategic localities, including Sawelor, Bombohum and Tallah Township.
The reconnection of these localities and communities with durable bridges is one of Liberia – Japan’s strategic partnership meant to increase people to people contact and enhance trade and development in Grand Cape Mount County.
According to a progress report on the project, ‘the construction of the Diah, Kaylia and Tallah Bridges is progressing’.
In the area of urban infrastructure development projects, the Government of Japan is committed to assisting Liberia in rebuilding its roads.
Hence, the Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Public Works, will soon begin the opening of all alleyways in the communities situated between ELWA junction and the Roberts International Airport. The ELWA-RIA reconstruction project, funded by the Japanese Counterpart Development Fund, was launched on 9 January 2015 by the Ministry of Public Works, along with other implementing agencies.
This project will help to lay out all community roads and alleyways in order to ease access to homes and services in this booming residential area.
On the food security side, the Japanese Government, through the Japan-Liberia Paddy and Seed Rice Project, continues to support Liberia’s strive to attain food self-sufficiency. There is an ongoing purchase 1.2mt of paddy and seed rice for milling and marketing in Liberia.
The first phase of this project began in 2010, following the monetization of 8,612 MT of assorted rice donated by the Government of Japan to support food security related projects in Liberia.
In this regard, the Government of Japan approved the Grant Amount of Four Million United States Dollars (US$4m) for the execution of the Paddy and Seed Rice Project.
Initially, the food security project was earmarked to be implemented in Five (5) of Liberia’s rice producing counties- Lofa, Nimba, Bong, Grand Gedeh and Gbarpolu, but was later extended to include other counties where paddy and seed rice were available in commercial quantities.
The Ministry of Agriculture has received the required funding, purchased and has distributed the relevant implements to farmers to further the projects objectives.
The Japan-Liberia Paddy and Seed Rice Project also aims at creating jobs for more than 400,000 farmers and dependents, and
providing income for more than 2000 rural farming households.
In addition to the infrastructural and food security projects, the Japanese are supporting human capital enhancement and capacity development at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Department of International Cooperation and Economic Integration.
The grant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has provided the necessary logistical support and improved staff capacity thereby leading to increased productivity at the Ministry. Furthermore, said grant supports the operation of a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, which helps the Government of Liberia (GOL) monitor the scrupulous implementation of all Japanese funded projects in the country.
The Government and people of Liberia are grateful for these projects, and look forward to the speedy return of all Japanese contractors who left Liberia due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease. This would allow pending projects like the reconstruction of the Somalia Drive high under Liberia-Japan partnership and cooperation to be completed. Courtesy of the Public Affairs Bureau/Ministry of Foreign Affairs.