MONROVIA-The Government of Ireland has agreed to contribute €1.5 million (US$1.7 million) for the period from 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2024 to the Liberia Electoral Support Project (LESP).
Embassy of Ireland Chargé d’Affaires, Kate O’Donnell, stated, “Ireland has a long history of supporting Liberia’s progress toward consolidating peace and strengthening its democratic processes. We are delighted to continue our partnership with UNDP and the Liberia National Elections Commission (NEC) on this project, which will contribute to credible, transparent, inclusive, and peaceful electoral processes in Liberia. Ireland recognises the importance of enabling full participation of women at all levels in society to contribute to sustained peace. Working alongside UNDP and NEC in this project we will support and strengthen systems that ensure that the voices of women and marginalised groups are heard in electoral processes”.
Ireland’s Mission Strategy in Liberia 2019-2023 aims to deepen development, political, and economic cooperation with Liberia. It has a strong focus on poverty reduction, gender equity, nutrition, food security, and the promotion and protection of human rights, in particular women’s rights.
Ireland’s support to this Project (LESP) will focus on strengthening inclusion and transparency of the electoral process, targeting increased political participation of women and vulnerable groups, improving civic and voter education, electoral dispute resolution, supporting conflict prevention and mitigation mechanisms, and developing the National Election Commission’s capacity in communications and disinformation management.
UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Violet Baffour observed, “Ireland has stood by Liberia and UNDP Liberia’s efforts to work to support democratic and electoral processes. Together we are working to develop the capacity of accountable, just, and peaceful institutions that support Liberia as it strives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and its Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.”
The main objective of LESP is to strengthen electoral and democratic institutions and processes in Liberia, focusing on strengthening inclusion and transparency of the electoral process, enhancing institutional capacity and accountability of electoral stakeholders, and strengthening the peaceful conduct of elections, with particular attention to early warning mechanisms, the conduct of security forces, and violence against women in elections.