Liberia, U.S. Sign Peace Corps Agreement

Charge d’ Affairs of the US Embassy accredited near Monrovia, Madam Brooks A Robinson and Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele
Charge d’ Affairs of the US Embassy accredited near Monrovia, Madam Brooks A Robinson and Foreign Minister Olubanke King-Akerele
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The Governments of the Republic of Liberia and the United States of America have signed a memorandum of understanding for the resumption of the Peace Corps Program in Liberia. The agreement is in continuation of the 1962 Peace Corps Volunteers Program, which was disrupted in 1990 as a result of the civil crisis.

The signing ceremony, which took place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia, brought together representatives of the Governments of Liberia and the United States of America.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Olubanke King-Akerele, signed on behalf of the Liberian Government while the Charge d’ Affairs of the United States Embassy accredited near Monrovia, H. E. Madam Brooks A. Robinson, signed on behalf of her Government.

According to a Foreign Ministry release, Minister King-Akerele was accompanied to the signing ceremony by Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs,  Amb. William V. S. Bull, Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Hawa Goll Kotchi, and Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal Affairs, Cllr. Krubo Kollie, amongst others.

The Charge d’ Affairs of the U.S. Embassy near Monrovia, Madam Brooks A. Robinson, and the Country Director of the Peace Corps Program in Liberia, Madam Luciane Philips, represented the Government of the United States of America.

In brief remarks following the signing ceremony, Minister King-Akerele expressed delight and appreciation on behalf of the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and the Government of Liberia for the resumption of the Peace Corps operation in the country.

 Madam King-Akerele said the signing of the new agreement manifests the cordial relationship between the two countries and signifies the importance which President Johnson-Sirleaf attaches to the provision of sound education and quality health program for the people of Liberia.

Minister King-Akerele further noted that the expected return of the Peace Corps Volunteers under this new agreement will prove an important contribution of human resource capacity for Liberia, as it implements the Poverty Reduction Strategy, which is critical to “Lifting Liberia” out of poverty and embanking on the path to sustainable development, peace and security.

For her part, the Charge d’ Affairs of the US Embassy accredited near Monrovia, Madam Brooks A Robinson, said the agreement which paved the way for the return of the Peace Corps after 18 years of absence, is an important milestone which signifies the confidence the United States Government has in Liberia’s recovery and stability.

The US diplomat further indicated that the new agreement shows that Liberia has evolved from a post- conflict country to a solid developing country. “The decision to bring back Peace Corps Volunteers was not made lightly. We considered the security situation nation-wide, and we considered the capacity of Liberia Government institutions to work with us”, Madam Robinson stressed.

She said the Peace Corps program is just one part of US Government’s continued support to Liberia. The US Charge d’ Affairs disclosed that America has contributed more than US$1.5 billion dollars for Liberia’s recovery.

She noted that half of this amount was spent bilaterally while the other half came through the United Nations for various sectors such as security, governance and the rule of law, construction, electricity and road, education and civil society support.