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At a glance: Liberia

Liberia's President helps UNICEF launch 'The State of the World’s Children 2008'

© UNICEF video
The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, speaks during the launch of the UNICEF flagship report, 'The State of the World’s Children 2008', at the Ministry of Gender and Development.

UNICEF’s yearly flagship report, 'The State of the World’s Children', which launched on 22 January 2008, makes a call to unite for child survival. Here is one in a series of related stories.

MONROVIA, Liberia, 5 February 2008 – More and more, post-conflict Liberia is finding opportunities for change.

Last month, the country launched UNICEF’s annual flagship report, 'The State of the World’s Children 2008'. The event was an opportunity to hammer home messages of increasing safety for women and girls, as well as to encourage commitment by those who can make a difference on the issue of child survival.

UNICEF's Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Dr. Esther Guluma, was in Liberia for the launch.

“I have been here prior to the war, during the war and now, again, post-conflict,” Dr. Guluma said. “I consider Liberia as my home. The children of Liberia are the future of Liberia. Therefore, it is important that we invest in children. We have to continue our efforts and we can only succeed if there is peace in the country.”

‘Make this a working document'

The launch of 'The State of the World’s Children 2008' gathered together some of Liberia’s most influential and inspirational leaders.

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf reminded the audience that “child survival is everybody's business.” She asked those in attendance to study and analyze the findings of the report in order to determine what must be done to reduce child mortality in Liberia. 

“We call upon our legislators to take this report and discuss it in their meetings and begin to pinpoint where the legislature, in support of the administration, can come up with policies and laws and make this a working document,” said Ms. Sirleaf.

Building back better

Among those present at the launch event were Ellen Loj, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, along with ambassadors from Lebanon, Sierra Leone and Sweden. Of course, children were also in attendance, and the lively and inspiring programme was interspersed with music, song and dance.

Everyone who spoke emphasized the urgency of intensifying efforts to reduce child mortality. Several of the speakers picked up the call to make Liberia safe for girls and fit for all children. The launch ended with the presentation of a copy of the report, decorated with blue and white ribbons, by the Youth Parliament representative. 

“Now that the war is over, we should not miss the opportunity to rebuild the country and the schools,” said Dr. Guluma. “UNICEF will remain by your side. We will help you to ‘build back better’!”




January 2007:
UNICEF correspondent Amy Bennett reports on the launch in Liberia of UNICEF’s flagship report, 'The State of the World’s Children 2008'.
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