Vice President Launches Final Phase of DDRR program

Friday, 18th January 2008
Monrovia, Liberia - Liberiaís Vice President, Joseph N. Boakai has challenged implementers of the final phase of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration component of the DDRR to ensure that the exercise is guided by the highest standards of accountability.

ďYou have a responsibility to ensure that the delivery of quality services  to our beneficiaries is never compromised, and the goal of our combined efforts should always be to ensure that national security, peace and reconciliation are achieved and sustained,Ē
Vice President Boakai said.

He was speaking Friday during the launch of the final phase of the Rehabilitation and Reintegration program for disarmed and demobilized ex-combatants.

Vice President Boakai said the achievements and accomplishments the government boasts of, as well as the peace and stability now prevailing in the country would not have been possible, were it not for the fundamental gains made by the NCDDRR with the indispensable support and direct involvement of international partners.

The programís contribution to the re-establishment of peace, security and national reconciliation, the Vice President noted, is commendable, and thanked the Government and people of Norway for providing funding for the final phase of the program.

Vice President Boakai assured the Unity Party-led governmentís commitment to the sustenance of the peace in Liberia and the sub-region. He noted that the gains made in the sustenance of peace is direct result of the collaborative efforts of the Government of Liberia and the international community.

He however pointed out that the final phase of the program is designed to fill the gaps and provide reintegration assistance for those beneficiaries with valid ID cards who have never received any form of reintegration assistance, and said the areas of emphasis in this final program will include psycho-social counseling and strategies to ensure gender equity.

Also making remarks at the launching program, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Madam Merete Lundemo described the program as an important part of peace building.

She hoped the program would be completed successfully as mandated by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the CNDDRR, the UNDP and the International Labor Organization.

Also in remarks, Deputy UN Special Representative Jordan Ryan said the programís focus will be employability, adding people coming out of the training would have skills which they can use upon return to their communities to build a more peaceful, stronger Liberia.

The Executive Director of the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization Rehabilitation and Reintegration (NCDDRR), Dr. Jervis A. Witherspoon, said an estimated 9,000 ex-combatants who did not benefit from the previous phase of the program, would benefit from the final phase of the program.