MONROVIA-Residents of Gbapa have reassured ArcelorMittal Liberia of their commitment to a peaceful approach to issues without any obstruction to the company’s operations.
The residents represented by their opinion and traditional leaders made the commitment in a formal communication addressed to the company.
In a letter signed by Town Chief Belleh Gbarto, Women’s head Rebecca Yarzue, Youth Chairman Ferllington Weanquoi, and Poro Chairman Fredrick Messah, the people of Gbapa distanced themselves from speculations that they were planning to protest against the company’s operations in Nimba.
“We the youths, elders, women, and chiefs of the aforesaid address wish to use this medium to sincerely apologize for the information from Mr. Quee Weanquoi, a son of Gbapa that our mothers are planning a traditional action to jeopardize ArcelorMittal operations because the Poro Master had failed to get the affected farmers’ benefits from AML,” the letter read.
The residents of Gbapa earlier this year made a commitment in the presence of Internal Affairs Minister Varney Sirleaf promising never to use violent means to seek redress, but that they would remain peaceful and continue to dialogue on issues. The relationship between AML and the local community has remained cordial.
Recently, the company provided an additional US$35,000 for the clinic project in Gbapa, amounting to a total donation of $85,000 in contribution to construct a clinic in the town.
Delivering the communication at AML’s main office in Yekepa on behalf of Gbapa were five persons, including a female, Rebecca Yarzue. They, in separate remarks, emphasized that Weanquoi’s speculation does not represent them, as it is false and misleading.
“Weanquoi’s statement is a lie. We did not have any such meeting, bringing 590 women of the Sande Society together to protest against ArcelorMittal. The women say we should beg you; he is damaging the character of the people of the town,” Yarzue said.
In addition to the content of the letter and views shared by the delegation, Fredrick Messah, Poro Chairman of Yarmein Administrative District, also reiterated through a telephone call that the people of Gbapa remain committed to their promise to do away with violence and continuously dialogue.
According to Messah, their Poro Master and Zoes are there to support the enforcement of community order and social control and not to promote violence.
Responding to their position statement, AML Community Relations Manager, Vaanii Kiazolu said the company values the partnership it has with the people of Gbapa.
He said Gbapa has demonstrated its commitment to peaceful coexistence. Speaking earlier, Edmond Gbah, Community Relations Supervisor who also hails from Gbapa, said he was happy that people of the community are celebrating the benefits of the cordial relationship between them and ArcelorMittal.
Liberia to Benefit from President Biden’s Announcement of Feed the Future Expansion
At the G7 Leaders’ Summit in Germany, President Biden announced that the United States is expanding to directly address and mitigate the impacts of recent shocks to global food security and nutrition.
Countries already reeling from increased poverty, hunger and malnutrition as a result of COVID-19, climatic shocks, severe drought in the Horn of Africa, and protracted conflict now face further suffering from Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Today’s crisis calls for an expansion of our efforts through Feed the Future. The U.S. government is announcing the expansion of Feed the Future to eight new target countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Zambia.
These countries were prioritized based on a combination of underlying food insecurity, poverty and malnutrition, including impacts from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as the opportunity – and each government’s commitment – to tackle these deep-rooted issues in partnership with us. In these countries, the U.S. government takes a coordinated approach to its investments and in turn, paves the way for further resources and investments from other actors, such as the private sector, donors and local governments.
Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative, to reach
This expands Feed the Future’s global footprint from 12 to 20 target countries and delivers on President Biden’s commitment in September 2021 of $5billion over five years to end global hunger and malnutrition and build sustainable, resilient food systems. Feed the Future programming responds to each country’s level of need and harnesses the power of agriculture to drive economic growth and transform food systems in the country and the region.
To respond to the global food security crisis, Feed the Future is focusing on four major lines of effort: mitigating the global fertilizer shortage, increasing investments in agricultural capacity and resilience, cushioning the macroeconomic shock and impact on poor people, and sustaining high-level global political engagement As a new Feed the Future target country, the U.S. Embassy through USAID/Liberia is contributing to these efforts by:
- Strengthening its coordination and collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture by providing technical assistance and policy support;
- Expanding programming to address the key drivers of food insecurity by building household resilience to shocks and stressors, improving agricultural practices, and supporting access and use of agricultural inputs, improved varieties, appropriate technology, equipment, and infrastructure;
- Establishing opportunities for agricultural businesses by co-investing in promising enterprises, strengthening business services, and investing in promising entrepreneurs and initiatives to address Liberia’s food security challenges; and
- Investing in the next generation of farmers and entrepreneurs by expanding school feeding programs in coordination with the Ministry of Education, and promoting agricultural training in schools.
Funded at more than $1billion per year, Feed the Future has existing technical expertise, programs and partners in more than 35 countries being leveraged to mitigate the impacts of this latest global shock and address the root causes of poverty, hunger and malnutrition.