University of Massachusetts Makes Formal Institutional Commitment to Assist Liberia's Recovery Effort

Wednesday, 5th September 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - The University of Massachusetts in the United States of America has made a formal institutional commitment to assist Liberia in its recovery and development programs.

Dr. Edward Beard, Senior Advisor of the University disclosed this Wednesday during a meeting with Vice President Joseph N. Boakai at his temporary office in Sinkor.
   
The U.S delegation was accompanied to the Vice Presidentís office by Nimba County Representative Nohn Kidau and the Secretary-General of YMCA Liberia, Mr.Peter Karmei.

He said the University of Massachusetts has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Liberia to undertake an HIV/AIDS program that will have as its centerpiece a national records laboratory to be established at the A.M Doggliotti College of Medicine.
   
According to Dr. Beard, Massachusetts University has committed US$50,000 to the laboratory project.
   
He said Massachusetts has also agreed on the exchange of journalists between Liberia and the United States of America, and is initiating the exchange of professionals in the areas of education, training and job creation.
    
Also speaking during the meeting, the Chairman of the Board of the YMCA of Massachusetts, Mr. James Bonds disclosed that he was in the country to initiate an exchange program between the YMCA of Massachusetts and YMCA Liberia.
   
According to Mr. Bonds, the program will include Culture Exchange, Youth Exchange and Employment Exchange.
   
In response, Vice President Boakai welcomed the memorandum of understanding and exchange programs. He said providing life-supporting skills to Liberian youth was one of the cornerstones of the Liberiaís re-emergence as great nation.
   
He regretted the high unemployment rate in the country, which, he noted, has given rise to the high crime rate in post-war Liberia.
   
Vice President said the youth constitute 70 per cent of the Liberiaís population, and that giving them life-supporting skills and getting them to realize their value in society would go a long way solving societal problems.
   
Vice President Boakai said the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led government is doing all it can to attract resources and expertise to tackle the numerous problems confronting post-war Liberia.