The Liberia Institute for Geo-information Service or LISGIS will today release Liberia’s household income, and expenditure survey or HIES report for 2014/ 2015, highlighting extreme poverty here.
LISGIS Director for Public Affairs, Varfee Holmes says the survey was conducted throughout the country in six months, but was suspended during the deadly Ebola virus outbreak that disruptedall economic activities.
Mr. Holmes says since the Country’s last HIES was conducted in 1964, the exercise had not been carried out due to serious capacity challenge.
He says the latest report is as a result of six months survey conducted in Montserrado County and other political subdivisions. The LISGIS spokesperson noted that though the report’s duration is less than a year; the exercise is basically intended to inform the public about current national statistics such as unemployment rate, among others.
He added that it will also point out existing gaps in the country, and how much is being done in terms of development, something which, according to him, will encourage the Government of Liberia and her partners to know how the country stands economically.
Meanwhile, Mr. Boima H.M. Sonii, coordinator of the household income, and expenditure survey says since the last survey in 1964, Liberia has been unable to conduct another survey due to several challenges, including prolonged civil crisis, lack of funding and human capacity.
He says as a result of the prolonged data gaps on several economic and social indicators here, the current survey was designed to address several data needs based on its nationally representativeness and multi-topic nature.
Mr. Sonii added that the main objective of the HIES is construction and updating of consumer basket and weight to show the true picture of the economy, including updating household expenditure data for compilation of national accounts benchmarks.
He names other poverty measure and data analysis such as providing baseline statistics for AFT, and modernizing statistical methods and standards. Mr. Sonii further explains that the HIES is the richest date Liberia has as it covers a wide range of economic and social indicators, and will remain a baseline for many household surveys to come as well as very useful to the government in formulating policy information, evaluating, designing and program monitoring, among other purposes.
By Lewis S. Teh-Edited by Jonathan Browne