Cities Alliance has announced a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action to achieve transformative change in the West African country of Liberia. This new commitment will help improve the lives of over 400,000 slum dwellers and street vendors in Greater Monrovia over the next five years.
Their Commitment to Action, From Divisive Crisis to Inclusive Cities: Catalyzing Transformative Partnerships in Greater Monrovia, will invest in community driven infrastructure, affordable housing and basic services. It will also strengthen the capacity of city governments and produce the country’s first National Urban Policy.
Almost a quarter of the people in Liberia live in the slums of Greater Monrovia. Every single day they face the challenges of living in poor housing, with inadequate water supply, and very little sanitation. The 2014 Ebola outbreak had a devastating impact on Liberia. As well as those who lost family members, thousands of people lost their jobs and livelihoods.
The commitment will mobilise slum dwellers and street vendors and equip them to improve their own lives. Access to improved data on informal settlements and community grants will support slum upgrading including improved sanitation and the creation of affordable housing. Communities and local governments will also be supported to create vibrant associations.
Cities Alliance will work with its member organisations and commitment partners to deliver these results, including Habitat for Humanity International; UN-Habitat; Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing, Shack/Slum Dwellers International and United Cities and Local Governments Africa.
William Cobbett, Director of Cities Alliance said: “Alongside delivering practical improvements in people’s lives, a key part of this initiative is that slum dwellers and street vendors will be assisted in documenting their living and working conditions. The commitment provides us with an effective model to implement the SDGs and New Urban Agenda for developing cities.”
Clara Doe Mvogo, Mayor of Monrovia said: “In 2014 we were confronted with the Ebola outbreak. This was the first time Ebola hit major cities in Africa and it forced us to strengthen the resilience our city’s health and emergency response systems. Cities Alliance is our newest partner to assist us in the socio-economic recovery from Ebola through community driven mapping and upgrading of our informal settlements, improvements to our long-term city resilience planning and governance systems as well as strengthening our partnership with the Government through development of our National Urban Policy.”
Elsa Palanza, Director of Commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative, said: “We are excited that CGI member Cities Alliance is announcing this new Commitment to Action, which will bring together local and international actors in urban development to build the resilience of Liberia’s cities. This commitment exemplifies the innovative CGI model and legacy at work -- bringing together partners from across sectors who are committed to doing well by doing good and improving lives around the world.”
The Liberia Country Programme is generously supported by a US$ 6 million grant to the Cities Alliance from UK-based organisations Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund.