Monrovia — The Government of Liberia and its development partners on Thursday launched the National Fund Drive for the Rehabilitation and Empowerment of At-Risk Youth (Zogos), with the President of the country, Dr. George Manneh Weah calling on all citizens and friends of Liberia to take urgent and concerted action to address the problem of disadvantaged youth in the country.
Officially launching the Fund Drive, which was attended by a horde of government officials, international and national development partners, prominent citizens as well as throngs of the affected youth, the President said the At-Risk youth of Liberia represent a clear and present danger, not only to themselves, but also to the entire socio-economic fabric of the nation.
He said continued neglect of their plight can rapidly develop into a significant threat to civil society and to national security,” President said, adding: “This threat of imminent danger will continue to grow in size and scope if these potentially valuable human assets are not reclaimed and redeemed and transformed into law-abiding citizens whose education and skills-sets will enable them to have a reasonable chance of re-integrating into the larger society as productive, self-sufficient, and self-sustaining citizens.”
The President pledged his government’s continued commitment to the young people of Liberia, mainly the disadvantaged youth, consistent with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development and international covenants on youth and underprivileged people.
He pledged an initial One Million United States Dollars to the Fund Drive this year and an annual budgetary allotment towards the rehabilitation and empowerment of At-Risk Youth in the country.
President Weah said the Government’s approach to the At-Risk situation will be structured, holistic, and sustainable.
Development partners, including the United Nations Office in Liberia, the European Union, World Bank, Africa Development Bank, and other multilateral donors and organizations who attended the program also acknowledged the exigency of concerted actions towards Liberia’s At-Risk Youth phenomenon.
They assured the Government and people of Liberia that they would remain committed to continued partnership with the government in addressing Liberia’s socioeconomic problems, including the condition of the unfortunate youth.
They variously pledged technical, financial, and material support to the Fund Drive.