Livelihood And Employment Creation Project

Overview/Background

Liberia ranks low at position 176 on the 2019 Human Development Index making it one of the poorest countries in the world. Poverty afflicts 50.9% of the population, more so women whose work is unpaid and goes unrecognized. In rural areas, poverty is higher (71.8%) compared to urban settings (31.5%). This is as a result of limited income-generating opportunities with only 18.1% of the workforce in paid employment, the informal sector accounting for 85% of all employment in the country. COVID-19, climate change and environmental degradation are aggravating unemployment. The youth, under 25 years of age, constitute 64% of the population, most (60%) having not completed primary schooling. Between 16% and 20% of the population have disabilities and are discriminated against, and are therefore severely marginalized.

This project aims at contributing to the country’s post- COVID- 19 recovery, creating opportunities for income-generation, and reducing inequality, particularly among the poor and vulnerable segments of the population (women and youth) in 7 counties—Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Lofa, Montserrado, Nimba, and Sinoe. The programme comprises of two key components, namely:

Support the creation of sustainable, viable and diversified livelihood opportunities for youth, women and persons living with disabilities (PWDs) through investment in and developing community infrastructure, environmental services and vocational/life skills, including digital skills; and inputs and technical advice to increase local food production; and

Strengthen business and enterprise development services by promoting access to finance, capacity- building and innovation that are responsive to the rights and needs for economic advancement of women, youth and PWDs.

The Government of Liberia in partnership with UNDP, through its Livelihood & Employment Programme, seeks to contribute to the reduction of poverty and inequality by supporting initiatives that engage poor and vulnerable households/population in sustainable income generation activities.

Two Sectors

Currently, only two sectors of the economy provide income and livelihoods - agriculture and informal Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and these are facing several challenges. The agriculture sector is constrained by low human capital, poor infrastructure (roads, access to energy, machinery and technology), poor access to farm inputs, credit and extension services, weak policies that deter private investments, and a lack of trust among market actors to engage in bulk purchasing, storage and marketing. MSMEs, on the other hand are constrained by weak management, fragmented markets, limited diversification, high operating costs, limited access to capital and credit; limited skilled workforce, the absence of long-term planning, among others.

Goal

To contribute to reduction of poverty and inequality in seven counties by supporting creation of resilient livelihood and income-generating opportunities especially for the poor and vulnerable, namely the youth, women, People With Disabilities (PWDs), refugees and their host communities by 2024.

Three-Track Approach

The project will adopt UNDP’s Three-Track Approach to livelihoods recovery which sytematically transforms short-term jobs to medium-term jobs, to long-term employment and inclusive growth by supporting;

 i. Stablization of livelihood systems in the short term;

 ii. Revitalisation and development of local economies using a combination of indigenous and new knowledge and innovation drivers;

 iii. Supporting long-term policies and strategies for decent work and employment, including women’s economic empowerment and participation.

Activities

The project will support three key strands of work;

1. Creation of sustainable, viable and diversified livelihood opportunities for youth, women and PWDs through investment in vocational and life skills training, development of agro-inputs supply chain, and provision of technical advice to increase local food production.

2. Strengthen enterprise development services through capacity building, access to credit, and promoting innovations that foster the rights and address the needs for the economic advancement of women, youth and PWDs.

3. Support national policies and strategies that facilitate a conducive environment for a thriving local private sector, and foreign investment.

Anticipated Results

1. Poor, vulnerable women, youth and PWDs in targeted counties will actively be engaged in diverse, sustainable income-generating activities by 2024.

2. MSMEs in the targeted seven counties will have received training for business establishment and expansion, and have greater, better access to finance.

3. It is envisaged that this project will have wide-reaching impacts beyond creating incomes to improving health, education, infrastructure, and other social services that enhance sustainable, resilient livelihoods and jobs.

Impact

START DATE

February 2021

END DATE

December 2025

STATUS

Ongoing

PROJECT OFFICE

Liberia

IMPLEMENTING PARTNER

Ministry of Commerce& Industry

DONORS

UN HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES (UNHCR)

UNDP Funding Windows

UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PRO

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS

$3,970,902

DELIVERY IN PREVIOUS YEARS

2021$1,552,751

2022$249,008

Full Project information