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Konneh: poverty here regrettable

Outgoing Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh has regretted grinding destitution among Liberians, who he said, struggle daily for survival.

He said the entire Liberian populace continues to live in abject poverty, which he regrets and hopes he could have done much in lifting the citizenry from their current appalling living condition. inister Konneh, who shortly leaves the country to take up a World Bank post in Nairobi, Kenya,spoke Sunday at an honoring program organized by the George Weah Vocational Training Center in Monrovia.

“I wish I’ve had time and resources to have helped our people. They are suffering; the poverty of the Liberian people is high and something should be done to reverse the situation,” he lamented. According to him, the resources of the State is so little that it cannot foot the needed priorities of the people, which he argues, put him in a difficult position to share the national cake, while serving as Minister of Finance.

The United Nations Development Programme 2015 Human Development Resource report puts Liberia’s poverty rate at 81.86 percent with vulnerable employment population ration at 72 percent, while 94.4 percent of the country’s workforce is considered ‘working poor’ as they live on less than US$ 2.00 a day.

According to the UNDP, Foreign Direct Investment to the country is 84.94 percent of GDP and international trade is 120.81 percent, coupled with a 53.6 percent of GDP received in net official development assistance.

Liberia’s life expectancy rate at birth increased by 14 years since 1980 when life expectancy was 46 years, but the report puts life expectancy of female Liberians at 61.5 years against 59.6 years for males.

Konneh added that due limited resources, many government line ministries and agencies are often denied requisite allotments because of the budgetary struggle.-Edited by Jonathan Browne

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