Recent assessment report by US Ambassador accredited to Liberia Michael A. McCarthy has been hailed by the National Civil Society Council of Liberia(NCSCL), the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country.
The NCSCL in a statement issued Wednesday, April 26, 2023, described the US envoy’s statement as a candid assessment of the country, which the Government of Liberia (GoL) must see it in good faith to take appropriate corrective measures that would change the current narratives.
It can be recalled that following the tour of the remaining counties of Liberia to complete his tour of the entire country, the US diplomat released a staggering report, part of which indicts the Liberian government of paying lips service to the Decentralization Policy, and while at the samedownplaying the country’s health sector.
The Ambassador reports that on his visit to most of the County Service Centers, and in 2022, none of the centers had received any of their budget allocation (usually around US$13,333), something which makes it difficult for productivity.
“One Center has not printed marriage certificates for four years because the printer broke, and their last allocation was received five years ago,” said the US envoy.
With these centers limited to forwarding paperwork to Monrovia periodically for time-consuming processing, he said their plight makes a mockery of decentralization efforts.
According to him, the one functioning office in every center, the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), has representatives who collect duties and regularly forward funds to Monrovia – apparently a one-way street.
At the same time, the US envoy explained how startled and deeply troubled he is to encounter multiple county hospitals that received not one penny of what they were promised in the 2022 budget.
From his assessment visits, the US diplomat uncovered that hospitals, on which lives depend, where outbreaks are prevented and suffering is alleviated, did not receive any portion of the US$100,000 or more appropriated by the legislature for them to operate,’’ Ambassador McCarthy asserted.
Accordingly, the CSO Council indicated that the report presented by the US government’s first representative to Liberia gives a clearer and complete picture of how things are running, and that if care is not taken, the condition could further worsen, thus endangering the lives of ordinary Liberians who barely find it increasingly difficult to get daily meal for survival.
Predicated upon this, the Council called on the Liberian government under the stewardship of President George Manneh Weah to welcome these reports and begin to work through its responsible Ministries/agencies so as to make amends.
“The National Civil Society Council of Liberia, the apex body of all civil society organizations in the country, hereby congratulates Ambassador McCarthy on the completion of his tour to the entire country. We also want thank him for his report that was drawn on the outcome of his assessment visits across the country. The CSO Council believes that this was a candid assessment and the report thereof presents a clearer view of how our people are and living and are being treated,” said NCSCL in the statement endorsed by its Chairperson Madam Alethea Pope-Kai.
“Therefore, we want to urge the Government of Liberiaheaded by His Excellency President George MannehWeah, to work through his lieutenants to begin to take concrete measures that would remedy these existingsufferings of our people,” added the Council.