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Liberia Census 2021 Project back on course as President Weah calls for total participation

When the Government of Liberia and partners led by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund signed the Liberia Census 2021 Project Document in October 2019, there was high anticipation that the population and housing census which had been pending since 2018 was back on course.

However, since March this year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions had caused some major delays in the census calendar implementation; thereby postponing the start of the cartographic fieldwork and pilot census earlier scheduled for March and May respectively.

Albeit, with a decrease in the infection rate among the population in the country, the statistics house, Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) and UNFPA in August agreed on a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) with the Ministry of Health and the Incident Management System of COVID-19 for resumption of all field activities related to the census project.

It is in this regard, that the President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, on Friday 25 September officially launched the National Population and Housing Project in Monrovia.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Weah, urged citizens and all residents of Liberia alike to fully cooperate with the exercise as it is for the general good of all.
President Weah underscored the importance of the national census; noting that it directly impacts socioeconomic service delivery for citizens at the grassroots level.

“We will have accurate data for the formulation of policy as well as implementation, monitoring and evaluation.  The results from the census will provide us with a unique opportunity to realign our development strategies, policies and programs;” President Weah said.


L-R: Finance and Development Planning Minister, Mr. Samuel D. Tweah, President George M.Weah, 
Swedish Ambassador, Ms. Ingrid Wetterqvist, LISGIS Director General, Mr. Francis Wreh and 
UNFPA Representative, Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi pose for photo after the presention of 15 Land Cruiser
Jeeps and 15 motorbikes to the Government by UNFPA for use by the Census Project

“Census is a constitutional requirement and a legacy for his administration, since it comes after every 10 years;” the Liberian Chief Executive added.
In remarks, UNFPA Representative Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi said UNFPA would continue to support the improvement of Liberia’s standards for the attainment of national capacities for quality data collection, analysis, management, dissemination, archiving and utilization.

“As we herald support to Liberia to conduct the 2021 Population and Housing Census, we are building a lasting national statistical capacity to be able to independently provide data services for general national development policy making, planning, programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation;” Dr. Ndyanabangi said.

According to Dr. Ndyanabangi, UNFPA has assembled in Monrovia international expertise in all aspects of census undertaking and has sourced the latest technologies and scientific equipment that should be employed to conduct Liberia Census 2021.

“The conduct of this census is among the first in Africa to employ digital technology from start to finish. It will use Computer Assisted Personal Interviews (CAPI). It has made Liberia to be one of very few developing countries worldwide that has a complete set of satellite imagery covering its entire landmass;” Dr. Ndyanabangi added. 

The Liberia Census 2021 is conducted by the Government of Liberia through Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services with technical support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). About 76 percent of its funding comes from the Government of Sweden, Government of Ireland, the World Bank and the United Nations.