BY: Samuel Flomo Jr.
Liberia’s Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor, on Friday, March 18, 2022, officially dedicated the National Disaster Management Agency’s first regional office in Gbarnga, Central Liberia.
VP Howard-Taylor, speaking at the program held in Gbarnga City, made a passionate plea for International partners to increase support to NDMA, as disaster risk reduction must be tackled across the country.
VP Howard-Taylor committed that while the Government will continue to fulfill its part of any intervention plan, International partners should endeavor to increase logistical support to the NDMA as disaster prevention, response, and recovery requires logistical inputs.
The National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) initiative supports the Government’s plans to decentralize disaster risk reduction activities in Liberia.
While dedicating the facility, VP Howard-Taylor reassured President George M. Weah’s support to NDMA and the quest to reduce the risk and impact people suffer when exposed to disaster risk.
She then lauded NDMA for considering decentralizing its activities across the country, with the principal objective to enhance its work.
However, the Liberian first female Vice President signaled that it would be impossible for the NDMA to singlehandedly achieve its mandate in the absence of other institutions of Government relevant to its work, adding “strong collaboration is needed in all aspects.”
The occasion was graced by local and international partners, civil society institutions, County Superintendents, and community leaders.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director of the NDMA, Professor Henry O. Williams, expressed his Institution’s gratitude to the government of Liberia for the support given to the agency, while also commending local partners for the improvement in coordination.
Mr. Williams particularly thanked the International partners, explicitly pointing to UNDP, for their financial and technical assistance to the NDMA, which he noted has enabled the agency to achieve a lot in the last four years.
He identified training of staff, the setting up of the National Early Warning and Emergency Operating Center, the development of the National Multi-Hazard and Contingency Plan, the Gender Policy for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the National DRR Strategy as some of the policy initiatives that the government and international partners are supporting.
According to the NDMA boss, the decentralization of NDMA’s activities will enhance the work of the Agency and help reduce the risk and impact of disasters.