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US$44.6 million World Bank Funded Liberia Women Empowerment Project Progresses with Stakeholder Engagement

Hundreds of Liberian women from rural Montserrado County gathered with eager anticipation as the Liberia Women Empowerment Project (LWEP) concluded a three-day National Consultation and Stakeholders Engagement. This project, funded by a US$44.6 million World Bank loan, aims to empower women and girls in six climate-vulnerable counties across Liberia.

According to Cllr. Margaret Nigba, the LWEP National Coordinator, the project specifically targets 267,200 people in over 750 communities. "The government's quest to tackle Gender Based Violence against women and girls cannot be overemphasized," Nigba stressed. "This project has come to address these issues and empower women for economic stability."

The project has been met with enthusiasm, with many women expressing their hope for a brighter future. However, concerns were also raised by stakeholders regarding transparency and experiences of exclusion from similar initiatives.

Tenneh Wilson, a spokesperson in Bentol City, echoed the sentiments of many, stating, "We have not been benefiting from some of these grants over the years. The big people in power have been prioritizing their personal interests while the local persons are the victims."

Addressing these concerns, Cllr. Nigba assured the stakeholders that the selection process for the grants would be rigorous and transparent. "The selection process does not require a tedious bureaucracy but a transparent and tough scrutiny process to ensure the rightful and targeted people are recruited to benefit," she said.

The LWEP will provide grants in various categories, including Individual Enterprises (US$1,000 to US$2,500), Livelihood Groups (US$2,500 to US$4,000), Village Savings and Loan Associations (US$4,000 to US$8,000), and Producer Groups/Farmer Based Organizations (US$4,000 to US$8,000).

The project goes beyond just financial aid. Component One focuses on social norms and community mobilization, while Component Two tackles basic services in health and education. Component Three provides economic and social empowerment opportunities, and Component Four strengthens public institutions to promote gender equality. Finally, Component Five ensures proper implementation, management, and knowledge sharing.

With Gbarpolu County next in line for consultations, the LWEP is poised to make a significant impact on the lives of thousands of Liberian women and girls in rural communities. The project's emphasis on transparency, community involvement, and a multifaceted approach promises not just financial empowerment, but also a brighter future for generations to come.


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