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UN Helps 30,000 Liberians Find Road Repair Work

UN helps 30,000 Liberians find work through road repair projects

7 August 2008 - More than 30,000 women and men across Liberia have found short-term work this year in road rehabilitation projects supported by the United Nations.

"The jobs created have had a positive impact, engendering a feeling of security in the communities and have promoted cohesion, as people from different groups participated jointly," Andrea Tamagnini, Director of Reintegration, Rehabilitation, and Recovery with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), said today.

The initiative, which took place during Liberia's dry season, focused on the main roads from Voinjama in the northwest to Fishtown in the southeast, and generated more than 1.3 million working days from September 2007 through May 2008.

The projects were carried out by Liberia's Ministry of Public Works, UNMIL, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN International Labour Organization (ILO), and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

Mr. Tamagnini pointed out that incidents of petty crime declined considerably during and after the projects, since the projects provided legal income-generation opportunities for war-affected youth.

During his recent visit to Liberia, Dmitry Titov, UN Assistant Secretary-General with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), said that "the combination of infrastructure and employment and the contributions these interventions make to recovery and rehabilitation should be seen as a microcosm of peacebuilding."

With massive unemployment and underemployment affecting all parts of the country, Liberia's Minister for Public Works, Loseni Dunzo said that "the number one priority in Liberia's Poverty Reduction Strategy programme is roads - a priority that is due to the major role played by road rehabilitation in the political stability of Liberia."

ENDS

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