WIN Wants Govt. Revisit State of Emergency Decision -Suggests Budget Realignment to Empower Residents
The Watkins Initiative for Nations (WIN), a pro-democracy and community based organization in Liberia is circumspect of the Government of Liberia new restrictions released, Wednesday, April 8, 2020, as means to curtail the deadly Coronavirus in Liberia, and underscore the need for Liberia’s current national budget be realigned and readjusted to help empower the citizenry of the country.
President George Manneh Weah Government of Liberia has declared a State of Emergency throughout the Republic of Liberia, for a period of three (3) weeks, renewable until the threat to Liberia from the COVID-19 Virus no longer exists, pending Legislative approval.
The potential State of Emergency highlights that all 15 counties in the Republic of Liberia are hereby quarantined from 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020, until further notice. Movements between counties are strictly prohibited. No person shall be permitted to enter or leave or in any way cross the borders of any county into any other county, except for Montserrado County and Margibi County which are quarantined as a single unit.
As a further measure under this State of Emergency, all Liberians and residents within the borders of Montserrado County, Margibi County, Nimba County, and Grand Kru County are to STAY AT HOME for the next 14 days, beginning at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 10, 2020.
Throughout this period, residents may leave home only for essential journeys for reasons of health and food, which should be restricted to your local community only, and be limited to a single person per household for a maximum of one hour, amongst others.
The Watkins Initiative for Nations believes such a declaration comes with huge responsibility which must not be overlooked by the government, especially the National Legislature which approval the Executive Branch is craving.
According to the organization, Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world, 83.8 percent of Liberia’s population lives below the poverty line ($1.25 per day) and 94 percent of workers are poor (living on less than $2 per day). It is also one of the poorest countries in the world, with about 64% of the population living on less than a dollar a day; while quoiting the Action Against Hunger 2019 report on Liberia.
The organization fear that if not is done, many Liberians are likely to die from starvation rather than COVID 19.
Speaking in an interview with journalists in Monrovia, Mr. Y. Solomon W. Watkins, the Executive Director of the Watkins Initiative for Nations, (WIN) said the fight against the virus can only be successful if the government prioritize empowerment scheme and better services for its citizens and those in the territories of Liberia.
According to him, the government must not in any way overlooked providing financial and material aid to its citizens and those in the boarders of the country. There is a need that government empower the community in fighting against the deadly coronavirus. By now each household should have had an anti-coronavirus material and all form of incentivize accessories to help individuals and families contribute toward ending the virus, and the Government must do this!
“We need a complete readjustment of the national budget to reflect the current situation our nation is confronted with. The realignment needs to consider reduction in the salaries for high profile government officials, readjust foreign travels and Daily Sustenance Allowances (DSAs); maintenance and repairs; lubricant, and other itemized areas that need readjustment. Savings from these budget lines can aid the vast majority of unemployed young and old people in the country,” Mr. Watkins noted.