5 November Press Brief

Monday, 5th November 2007

The Executive Mansion is pleased to inform the public about the following positive developments;

  • The Government of Norway has decided to support the establishment of two Millennium Development Villages in Liberia. A millennium village seeks to end extreme poverty by working with the poorest of the poor, village by village throughout Africa, in partnership with governments, and other stakeholders, providing affordable and science-based solutions to help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is extremely happy about Norway’s decision as she has been soliciting its support in this regard. The President is also appreciative of the efforts of Professor Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University, who also played a pivotal role in getting the Norwegian Government’s support. President Johnson Sirleaf has decided to have Liberia’s first millennium village constructed in Cocoya, Bong County. The venue of the second millennium village will be decided after consultation with other stakeholders.

  • A millennium village is a new approach to fighting poverty and is part of the world millennium goal. The first millennium village was constructed in Sari, Kenya in August, 2004. Currently, with financial support from Japan and cooperation from the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, 12 millennium villages have been established across Africa in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. Liberia is poised to be the 13th country in Africa to benefit from a millennium village. 93 percent of the activities of millennium villages are Agriculture.

  • Situations for which millennium villages are established include; areas crippled with disease, exposed to drought-prone climates, not suitable to irrigation, isolated in mountains and landlocked regions and suffering from poor infrastructure. The role of the government in a millennium village is to assure that villages are consistent with broader national development plans and agreeing on cost-sharing and that government become full partners in the project.

  • President Johnson Sirleaf wishes to remind all Liberians that the effort to have Liberia’s 4.5 billion United States Dollars debt with the International Monetary Fund alleviated cotinues. The Liberian leader wants it made known to the public that the effort is now a global campaign. She wishes to express her deepest appreciation to British Singer Bono who has been and continues to be in the vanguard of Liberia’s debt relief with IMF. Bono is the lead singer for the British musical group known as U2 and has been increasingly involved in campaigning for third-world countries debt relief and raising awareness of the plight of Africa, including the HIV/AIDS pandemic.