The Government of Liberia since the mid 2000 is making various attempts to establish and formalize a social framework for its human development backed by policies, strategies, plans, programs and projects. These are being done in a multi-sectoral manner through its sector Ministries and Agencies. Some of these major government policies of critical relevance to the STCRSP are as follows:
The Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008-2011) clearly articulates the Government’s overall vision and major strategies towards inclusive and sustainable growth and development during the period of implementation. In the PRS, Liberia clearly sets out a framework for rapid, equitable, and inclusive growth and poverty reduction. It provides an avenue for progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The PRS is based on four pillars: (i) Consolidating Peace and Security; (ii) Revitalizing the Economy; (iii) Strengthening Governance and the Rule of Law; and (iv) Rehabilitating Infrastructure and Delivering Basic Services. The PRS recognizes the role and contributions to be made by the agriculture sector towards achieving the objectives of the PRS. The PRS adopts a three prong strategy: rebuilding roads and other critical infrastructure; reviving the traditional engines of growth in mining, minerals, forestry, and agriculture; and establishing a competitive business environment to help diversify the economy over the medium term. Under agriculture, the development of tree crops especially oil palm has been identified as critical to economic growth and diversification. The Government considers the revitalization of agriculture as the bedrock of the economy, since agriculture provides livelihoods for the majority of Liberians. Under the current strategy, it believes that a vibrant agricultural sector is central to reducing poverty, providing food security, and ensuring progress toward the Millennium Development Goals.
A National Land Policy exists with key objectives which are (i) promote equitable access to land for all citizens; (ii) ensure customary rights, especially those of smallholders; (iii) promote sound information on land management; and (iv) promote the protection and sustainable use of water and land resources. These objectives do have implications on the implementation of the project
National Labor Policy (2009), by the Ministry of Labor was developed with assistance from the ILO and strategic plans have been developed to ensure implementation of the policy.
The National Health Policy (2007) sets out the national agenda towards the health and vitality of Liberians. It is a comprehensive document which details out the health priorities of the sector ministry and its agencies.
National Nutrition Health Survey (2009)
National Health Commodity Security Strategy and Operational Plan (2008 – 2012) through which quality contraceptives and other reproductive health commodities can be accessed by every person;
The Education Sector established its Free Compulsory Primary Education Policy (2006/2007) which provides for children between 6-11years to access education freely; The sector also established the Each One Teach One Program and the School Feeding Program sponsored by WFP was introduced to support retention and reduce the attrition and drop-out rates among school children and is assessed to have helped to increase enrollment of especially girls in schools;
Another key educational program is the Accelerated Learning Program and Accelerated Extension Program (ALP), parallel interventions designed to address the basic education needs of young adults who missed out on education. This program seeks to improve enrolment, attendance, and retention through its school feeding program, with support from the World Food Program.
National Employment Strategy- A national strategy for employment creation in Liberia launched by Her Excellency the President on 15 July, 2006 provides for immediate emergency employment and lays the foundation for a longer-term sustainable employment strategy. The program presently being implemented under the Liberia Emergency Employment Program (LEEP), a national public works program, and the Liberia Employment Action Program (LEAP), aims to stimulate employment creation in the country.
The Policy on Girls Education (2006),
The HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan of Action (2006),
The enactment of two important pieces of legislation including the New Rape Law which outlaws gang rape and stipulates life term sentence for particularly aggressive forms of rape and the Equal Rights of the Customary Law of 1998, which extends rights of inheritance to women married under Customary Law (the Inheritance Law).
The formulation of a National Gender-Based Violence Plan of Action (2006),
The development, launching and implementation of Liberia National Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325
Gender and Property Ownership
The Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, 1986, Article 11 states that “All persons are born equally free and independent and have certain natural and inalienable rights, among which are the rights of …acquiring possessing and protecting property, subject to such qualifications, as provided for in this constitution.”
Act to Government on the Devolution of Estates and Establish Rights of Inheritance for Spouses of Both Statutory and Customary Marriages was established in December 1, 2003. These rights do have implications on inheritance relating to the project in the rehabilitation of old tree crop plantations inherited by spouses: The law defines and establishes the rights of spouses to inherit property and some relevant sections as follows:
Section 1: Dower: “the one-third (1/3 interest of the tribal husband’s property to which his widow is entitled as of right regardless of whether or not the widow and children for her late husband, or whether or not she assisted him in acquiring the property”
Section 2.3: Husband/Wife’s Inchoate Dower: Customary wife is entitled to 1/3 of the husband’s property upon his death immediately upon marriage whether or not the wife helped the husband acquire the property.
Section 2.4: Compulsory Wife Labor Prohibited: Customary spouses must “work in partnership and adequately maintain and support their household”.
Section 2.6: Wife’s Property Exclusively Her Own: Customary wife’s property owned or acquired prior to marriage is hers to the exclusion of her husband. It is a felony if the customary husband controls or attempts to control his customary wife’s property.
Section 3.1: Decedent Estates Law Applicable to Customary Marriage: Decedent Estates Law “shall equally apply to all native customary marriages immediately after the passage of this Act”.
Section 3.2: Widow’s Dower Right: Widow or multiple widows, upon the husband’s death, are entitled to 1/3 of the deceased husband’s property.
Cooperative Development Agency The Cooperative Development Agency (CDA) is an autonomous governmental Agency responsible for the mobilization of farmers groups and associations. The management of the CDA has been vested in a Board of Directors constituted by the representatives of the cooperative movement, The Board is chaired by the Minister of Agriculture and other members serve on ad hoc committees. In line with bringing services close to cooperatives at grassroots level, the CDA is decentralized at county level to bring its services close to cooperative grassroots levels and the County Office is headed by an Assistant Registrar. The County Assistant Registrars represent the central CDA. The County Assistant Registrars are vested with the authority to register, backstop and train cooperatives societies within their counties at all levels. 6 The Secretariat of CDA is headed by the Registrar General who reports to the President through the CDA Board. The Secretariat has various departments with specific functions: Department of Administration, Finance and Audit; Department of Cooperative Development Services; Department of Gender and Youth Promotion; The Secretariat of CDA is headed by the Registrar General who reports to the President through the CDA Board.