Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Honorable Amara M. Konneh has outlined accelerated progress made towards the country’s security sector in anticipation of taking over from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), in preparation of the UN Peacekeepers drawdown from Liberia.
Minister Konneh says, as a marked of government’s commitment to adequately support the security sector, it has created dedicated accounts for the sector earmarked programs, so that these projects/programs are not subjected to delays when revenue collection falls below projection.
According to a Ministry of Finance and Development Planning press release, the MFDP Minister made the revelation during the weekend when Mr. Farid Zarif, the new Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) of the United Nations paid him a courtesy visit at his office on Broad Street in Monrovia.
During their brief meeting, Minister Konneh informed Mr. Zarif that despite the numerous internal and external challenges, the government of Liberia has increased its financial disbursement to the security sector programs since 2012, in the light of the imminent drawdown of UNMIL.
He said during the just ended fiscal year, the total amount of US$87.4m was disbursed to the sector, as compared to about 66m in 2010/2011, while disbursement in the FY2014/2015 accounted for 14% of the total spending by the government in its drive to ensure the preparedness of the state security to keep the peace.
The release indicated that, Minister Konneh restated the Government of Liberia full commitment to accelerate support to the security sector so as to prepare for the completion of UNMIL duties in the country. The MFDP Minister stated that as a marked of Liberia’s commitment to adequately support the sector, it has created dedicated accounts for the security sector earmarked programs so that these projects/program are not subjected to delays when revenue collection falls below projection.
In three years, he said the government has trained over 1,000 new personnel of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and over 500 of the Bureau of immigration and Naturalization (BIN). In addition, Minister Konneh stated that the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Liberia National Fire Service (LNFS), the Corrections Bureau have all embarked on ambitious training programs.
Minister Konneh however pointed out that in order to meet training targets, the government of Liberia is financing renovation and repair works in selected security training camps across the country to upscale training.
These include: renovation of BIN training academy in Foya, Lofa County; renovation of Camp Todee Military Barrak; and operationalization of camps already vacated by UNMIL.
“Just last weekend, we held an elaborate graduation of BIN and LNFS officers trained at Camp Biago in Sinje, Grand Cape Mount County. The Government of Liberia has also funded the purchase of cars, uniforms and other logistics to facilitate speedy development of officers by the LNP, BIN, LNFS, and DEA upon completion of their training.” Minister Konneh disclosed.
For his part, the incoming SRSG, Mr. Farid Zarif expressed his commitment to providing the necessary support to the MFDP in whatever way that will contribute to achieving its areas of priority.
He said he is looking forward for a comprehensive and cohesive approach in meeting the challenges of the MFDP.