… Amb. Bradley assures Liberian ambassador of British cooperation
The Government of the United Kingdom reaffirmed its commitment to supporting the development and democratic governance of Liberia.
According to the British Ambassador accredited to Monrovia, Neil Bradley, his country will continue its involvement in different sectors.
Following a courtesy visit to the Liberian Mission in London, where he had in-depth discussions “on increased cooperation between Liberia and the UK” with his Liberian counterpart, Ambassador Gurly T. Gibson Schwarz, he defined five key areas, in which he and his team remained engaged across Liberia, focusing on health, education, climate change, biodiversity and security.
Under Pillar 1, in the areas of health and education, the UK is a leading member of the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVAX initiative which has delivered vaccines to other countries around the world in response to the Covid 19 pandemic – Liberia being a beneficiary.
The UK government is providing $2.6 million to Mary’s Meals to help over 157,000 children in Liberia reduce hunger for the period 2021-2024. Ambassador Bradley highlights the impact of this initiative based on the project site visit to Bomi County.
The UK is also providing $5 million to fuel the UNICEF-managed nutrition and financing mechanism, targeting 1.3 million women and children to reduce the prevalence of stunting in Liberia from 36% to 33% by 2024; as well as an $80,000 contribution to UNFPA in Liberia to reduce unwanted pregnancies and maternal deaths. The project seeks to improve maternal, newborn and child health. An additional $1.5 million in personal protective equipment has been donated to help fight the global pandemic.
The annual Chevening Scholarship Scheme offers Masters scholarships for Liberians to enroll in top UK universities. The beneficiaries of the programs then played an influential role in different sectors. In social protection, the UK has also contributed $4 million to the World Bank’s Social Safety Net Project in Liberia – chaired by the Ministry of Gender and Social Welfare – providing income support to households poor of more than 12,000 people.
Under Pillar II, the economy, the UK is a major World Bank contributor of US$6.3 million to World Bank Liberia – to help fund construction of the South East Corridor.
On Pillar III, peacekeeping in terms of security and national defense — As part of funding provided by the UK Conflict, Security and Stability Fund, the UK Ministry of Defense provided training the deployment of MINUSMA (United Nations Mission in Mali) to 160 members of the Armed Forces of Liberia in February with additional training planned this year.
Police officers from the UK Peace Support Team also visited Liberia in January 2022, providing training to the Liberia National Police. On justice and human rights, the special envoy for human rights, Ambassador Rita French, visited Liberia last month and her visit “will help strengthen cooperation in this area “.
Pillar IV: The UK Presidency of Cop26 saw the UK mission in Monrovia coordinate with different sectors ahead of the successful global climate change conference in Glasgow. The UK has also helped train journalists on environmental issues by educating women on how to effectively adapt to climate change to protect species and their habitats.
The UK has also provided a Forest Governance and Reform and Climate Change Award of approximately $20 million. UK-funded projects and grants are helping the Government of Liberia develop the tools and systems needed to strengthen forest governance, thereby safeguarding Liberia’s precious natural resources. According to Ambassador Bradley.
The UK Monrovia Mission is pleased that the UK Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund is funding several key initiatives in Liberia, which in recent years have contributed to the development of regulations for the implementation of the National Wildlife Trade Act. fauna; set up cross-border committees and follow-up agreements between Liberia, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire to protect migrating forest elephants, provided training to ranger teams while educating citizens about the negative effects of illegal wildlife trade.
The UK will continue to work together and strengthen the bilateral relationship between the two countries. According to Ambassador Gurly Gibson Schwarz, who held a similar meeting in Monrovia during his recent visit, increasing collaboration with the UK as a key international development donor “is a key concern of the Liberian diplomatic mission in London”. She said this growing collaboration with the UK reflects progress in many areas.
Such interaction at various levels of the UK and Liberian governments and citizen-led forums is crucial for both countries. As Liberia and the UK move closer to a trade deal, Ambassador Gurly Gibson Schwarz reiterated UK support at the UK Liberia Business Conference which focused on Liberia’s innovative approach to extractive industries that emphasizes sustainable development and renewable energy.
She commended Ambassador Bradley for continuing the partnership and breaking new ground in Liberia and the UK to strengthen cooperation between our governments and our peoples.
During her recent meeting with Members of the House of Lords in the UK Parliament, Ambassador Gurly Gibson Schwarz said that advancing trade between Liberia and the UK was crucial to creating jobs in Liberia and realizing the UK Global Britain mantra.
She recalled that Lord Sheikh was one of the key delegates to the virtual UK-Liberia conference held at the Liberia Mission in London and has since continued his ties with Liberia.
“Lord Sheikh has expressed his intention to form a business alliance with Liberia, stating that there are huge opportunities for business investment in the renewable energy, blue economy and tourism sectors.
The meeting also included Lady Sheikh and Mr. Jonathan Turner, Co-Founder and Director of NLA International, Ltd, who expressed particular interest in Liberia’s blue economy – the fishing and maritime sectors.