Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund Partner with Cities Alliance to Create Lasting Change in Liberia
Global partnership organisation Cities Alliance has received a £3.9 million ($6.5m) grant through a partnership between Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund. This will help improve the lives of over 400,000 slum dwellers in Monrovia, Liberia over the next five years.
Almost a quarter of the people in Liberia live in the slums of Monrovia. Every single day they face the challenges of living in poor housing, with inadequate water supply, and very little sanitation. Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund are supporting Cities Alliance to improve the lives of slum dwellers by empowering local people and enabling them to create lasting change in their communities.
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 project will mobilise slum dwellers and equip them to improve their own lives. Access to community grants will support slum upgrading including improved sanitation and the creation of affordable housing, as well as helping people to set up their own small businesses. Communities will also be supported to create vibrant local associations so they are better able to demand and achieve long term improvements in their living conditions from local authorities.
Cities Alliance will work with its member organisations to deliver these initiatives, including Habitat for Humanity International; UN-Habitat; Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing and Shack/Slum Dwellers International.
The funds have been awarded through the partnership between Comic Relief and the Big Lottery Fund announced in March 2015, which aims to bring change to the lives of vulnerable people across some of the poorest communities in Africa, and better understand the wider benefits collaboration can have on the sector. The next phase of the partnership will focus on improving the health of mothers, babies and children.
Kevin Cahill, Chief Executive of Comic Relief said: “The partnership between Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund supports Comic Relief’s vision of ‘A Just World Free from Poverty’, in which everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. As well as bringing change to the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged people across some of the poorest communities in Africa, this funding partnership between Comic Relief and Big Lottery Fund aims to better understand how collaboration can have wider benefits for the sector.”
Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, said: “This vital funding will help communities in Monrovia recover from the impact of the Ebola outbreak. The project will mobilise slum dwellers and equip them to improve their own lives. They will document conditions in slums, advocate for improvements and have access to small community grants and also work with local and national governments to help drive long-term change. An ambition of this exciting partnership is to learn about the opportunities and benefits of funder collaboration.”
William Cobbett, Director of Cities Alliance says: “Alongside delivering practical improvements in people’s lives, a key part of this project is that slum dwellers will be assisted in documenting their living conditions. The findings from this will help influence wider governmental policies on slums and cities throughout Liberia helping to improve the lives of more people living in poverty. The mobilisation of both public and private resources is essential to the long-term future of Monrovia.”