MONROVIA, Feb. 11 (LINA) – Amidst numerous contributions of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) to the growth and development of Liberia, President George Weah has identified the military institution as a major partner in the implementation of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The PAPD is a national agenda of the Weah-led Government which is centered on four pillars, including Power to the people, Economy and Jobs Creation, Sustaining the Peace, Governance and Transparency.
Speaking at the 64th commemoration of the Armed Forces Day at the Barclay Training Center in Monrovia, the Liberian leader cited that the AFL is also an important participant in the implementation of the PAPD.
He emphasized that the AFL has played a frontline role in different development initiatives across the country, ranging from construction works on the 14 Military Hospital, collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works on road repairs and rehabilitation, and renovation of houses in their barracks around the country.
« As Commander-in-Chief, I envisage the expansion of their participation to other key areas of national development, » President Weah said.
He disclosed that he has instructed the Minister of Defense to further instruct the deployment of the Engineering and the Agriculture Companies into their respective areas of expertise to further support the efforts of the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Agriculture.
« The Engineering Company, in partnership with the Ministry of Public Works, will conduct an assessment for the implementation of quick impact strategic interventions on roads throughout Liberia that are critical to the survival of our people, » the Liberian Chief Executive added.
The Commander -in -Chief of the AFL maintained that the action will help facilitate movement of Liberian citizens and enable farmers have access to markets during the rainy season, thus reducing the high cost of locally-grown commodities He emphasized that such partnership will harness the potential of the Engineering Company of the AFL to ensure the timely completion of this task.
« The Minister of Finance is hereby instructed to provide the necessary support and ensure future budgetary allocations for the purchasing of earth moving equipment, » the Chief Executive instructed.
President Weah assured Liberians that the AFL will maintain technical presence and provide relief on other parts of these roads.
Meanwhile, President Weah lamented that the threat of food insecurity in the country continues to pose a challenge to national security which, according to him, informed his decision.
« That is why we must leverage the potential of our Military to undertake the supplemental pro1duction of rice and other basic vegetables to meet local demand and reduce reliance on expensive imports, » Weah indicated.
The Liberian President revealed that he has been informed by the Minister of National Defense that coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture is ongoing and there are plans to partner with the National Bureau of Veteran Affairs where the knowledge and skills of Liberian veterans can also be utilized.
Also, the President highlighted that the AFL has also provided routine medical support to public health education, comprising family planning and HIV/AIDS awareness, and to communities and areas within the vicinities of their barracks.
He added that the soldiers have also been part of the first response during emergency and disaster situations.
« For example, given the unique capabilities of the Armed Forces of Liberia, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in Liberia, I ordered the AFL, through the Minister of National Defense, to deploy members of the Medical Company to support our health care practitioners, » the President pinpointed.
Weah also highlighted the implementation of his order by the Military for the immediate commissioning of the 14 Military Hospital, as part of the national efforts to contain the rapid spread of the virus as another cardinal intervention.
« Additionally, our troops where called upon to enforce health regulations that had been put in place to prevent the spread of the disease. They also supported contact-tracers by closing all county borders to ensure that movements between counties were restricted, » the Liberian leader maintained.
The Liberian head of state averred that as a result of the soldier’s effectiveness, the virus was prevented from spreading throughout Liberia, and many counties reported very few or no cases.
Dr. Weah noted that the AFL also supported healthcare practitioners at the 14 Military Hospital as part of the national efforts to quarantine patients and contain the rapid spread of the virus.
He indicated that partly because of the robust support provided by the Armed Forces, Liberia is one of the countries with the lowest number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus.
« As Commander-in-Chief, I reaffirm my commitment to strengthening their capacity and supporting their response capabilities to deal with other national emergencies, » President Weah assured Liberians.
The Commander-in-Chief further said that the Armed Forces of Liberia will continue to support the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Institute of Liberia, while maintaining discipline and professional competence to accomplish their national mandate.