April 2, 2023

President Weah and partners pledge to work with people living with disability in Liberia.

President George Weah on Friday participated in the opening of a two-day national disability summit and international day for persons with disabilities.

The program which brought together several Liberians living with disabilities from all parts of the country was organized by the National Commission on Disabilities in collaboration with the Ministry of Gender, children and social protection, and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

The two days summit is aimed at developing a clear roadmap on how the Government of President George Weah can address the issues faced with people living with disabilities which is been held under the theme: “Accessibility 2029 theory to practice leadership and inclusive participation post-COVID-19 Liberia”.

Speaking on Friday, December 3, 2021, at the opening of the summit, Liberia President George Weah pledged his Government commitment to work closely with people living with disabilities.

According to Mr. Weah the summit is important to him and his government since it involves people who are the very example of the challenges his Pro-Poor Agenda seeks to resolve. He noted that disability is not inability, and belief that people with DISABILITIES have the ABILITY to contribute positively to the growth of society.

“While we are all challenged in different ways, nothing should be allowed to preclude one from aspiring to reach his or her God-given potential”, President Weah noted. Encouraging his audience, the Liberian Leader informed summit that he awarded a physical challenge man (Konah Kermi) for the Best Cassava Producer of the year at the Agriculture Fair in February of this year, despite being physically challenged.

President George Weah agrees that there is a lot of such individual in society. He that they are those men and women who, regardless of disability, constantly struggle to make a better life for themselves and their families. Their stories are true examples and illustrations of the determination and resilience of the human spirit.

“I am here today to give you my fullest support. My Administration will continue to strive to improve the conditions in Liberia under which persons with disabilities must live.  This will involve further facilitation of the work of organizations working in the sector, including the National Commission on Disabilities, which is overseen by Vice President Taylor in her capacity as Chairperson”, Mr. Weah assured his audience.

President Weah quickly added that Liberia has witnessed a significant increase in the number of disabled people since the end of the civil war, with many laboring at the lower end of the economic ladder. He continued that, there must be equal access to health care services, education, and employment opportunities for all, including the disabled.  And where this is lacking, his government will begin to take the necessary corrective steps to restore their basic and fundamental rights.

He said the summit is also intended to address basic issues of persons with disabilities and further provide a perfect opportunity to highlight their plats to the world. The Liberian leader further indicated that the forum will give him more ideas on how his administration can serve people living with disabilities. President Weah added that it is his hope that the two days conference will bring a sustainable and positive change to the lives of people living with disabilities.

Meanwhile, the executive director of the National Commission of Disabilities Daintowon Pay-Bayee lauded the CDC government and international partners for their support to people living with disabilities.

She added that the summit is to spike out and address issues of people living with disabilities in Liberia, indicating that the summit was the idea of President George Weah to develop a roadmap on how his government can work with people living with disabilities in the country.

For his part, Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel Tweh said disability is not a cause, stressing that disability is not a stickman thing noting that people living with disabilities are also equal in society.

At the same program, several Diplomatic including, US Embassy, Sweden Embassy, Embassy of Ireland, British Embassy, European Union, World Bank, UNDP among others all pledged their support to persons living with disabilities in Liberia.

Orange Liberia donated 80 smartphones and SIMs to people living with disabilities. The Head of the GSM Company, Sarah Buchanan called on other private institutions in Liberia to join Orange Liberia in giving back to people living with disabilities.

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