The Government of Liberia, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP), on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, signed a Letter of Agreement (LoA) with United Nations Women (UN Women), to support the national Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Coordination Units (GRPB) initiatives in agencies of government through the National Gender Responsive Planning and Budgeting Coordination Unit, recently established at MFDP.
The agreement is in the amount of ninety-eight thousand United States dollars (US$98,000.00), which will basically be used to develop a performance roadmap, consultancy for GRPB agencies, and for the operation of the units in these agencies.
Under this agreement, initial funding of about US$98,000 (Ninety-Eight Thousand United States Dollars) has been allocated through the Spotlight Initiative, over the next two years to ensure that Liberia fulfills its commitment to inclusive growth and development.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership with the Government and civil society of Liberia which is designed, supported and funded by the European Union and the United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
Thus, this amount is earmarked for activities in three Government agencies (Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection).
Funding will go towards setting up GRPB Units at the three entities, conducting capacity needs assessment, development of SOPs, raising awareness, provide consultancy services and allowances for staff, as well as office support services.
The GRPB Coordination Units is currently at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, with same units expected to be launch at the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection. The unit’s establishment came about through collaboration with development partners, and as part of efforts to mainstream gender in Liberia’s development approach.
At the signing ceremony, UN Women-Liberia Country Representative, Madam Marie Goreth Nizigama, lauded Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Hon. Tanneh G. Brunson, for her steadfast commitment and approach towards the development of the GRPB policy, as well as, the Government of Liberia’s renewed commitment for gender equality.
Madam Nizigama said the GRPB Coordination Unit is an important mechanism for the Pro Poor Agenda because it will provide greater information, strategy and tools that brings together gender equality.
According to her, the singing of the LoA, according to her is the first step of GRPB initialization institutionalization in these three agencies of government. Women and girls rights, she said, will be promoted, while at the same time helping the government to be more efficient and effective in the delivery of the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
The UN Women Country Representative pointed out that GRPB is an important mechanism for ensuring greater consistency between the Government’s Pro Poor Agenda (PAPD), economic growth and social commitments.
She added that, “implementation of GRPB initiatives will lead to a more efficient use of limited resources; it provides better information for policymaking and ensures better and more equitable budgeting. GRPB is an integral part of Public Financial Management Reform process”.
For her part, Deputy Minister for Budget and Development Planning, Madam Tanneh G. Brunson, said it was necessary to advocate for gender mainstreaming and equity as government prepares to implement its national development plan, the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
Deputy Minister Brunson added that Liberia has come a long way in understanding the concept of gender-responsive planning and budgeting and in recognizing the importance, has developed and to adopted the implementation of GRPB. The policy defines a clear roadmap for mainstreaming GRPB into our PFM processes and provides a framework to guide our work.
She noted that strong commitment and determination was shown in the policy design and institutional structures to address gender inequalities in the country PFM practices.
The Deputy Minister for Budget lauded UN Women and the European Union for their support to inclusive growth and development. She said the GRPB Coordination Unit will focus on developing more effective responses as part of global efforts to achieving the SDGs regarding gender equity.
As part of the GRPB initiatives, through the agreement, there will be focus on developing a more effective response to violence against women and girls and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health rights, through innovative approaches, effective and coordinated institutions, equitable access to integrated care services, and strengthened and dynamic women’s rights organizations.