Liberia: Census Is On As Planned

-Gov’t and partners reaffirm commitment

Despite a no-show start to the much-trumpeted 2022 National Population and Housing Census on Friday, November 11, the Liberian Government and its partners maintained that the census is on course.

President George Weah currently in the French Capital Paris declared a national holiday on Friday, November 11, to enable citizens to stay home and be counted. But many waited in vain as enumerators did not show up at their homes.

However, government and its partners announced in a release Friday evening reaffirming their commitment to exercise which is expected to end on November 22.

The release was signed by Mr. Samuel Tweah on behalf of the government of Liberia, while Mr. Niels Scott, UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Bidisha Pillai, Resident Representative UNFPA, Mr. Khwima Nthara, Country Manager, World Bank, H.E Urban Sjöström Ambassador, Kingdom of Sweden and Mr. Jim Wright Mission Director, USAID signed for the international partners.

The release observed that population and housing census is among the most complex and massive peacetime exercises a nation can undertake. The exercise, a constitutional mandate, involves the complete enumeration of the population in a country.

The aim is to generate a wealth of data, including numbers of people, their spatial distribution, age, and sex structure, as well as their living conditions and other key socioeconomic characteristics.

These data are critical for good governance, policy formulation, development planning, crisis prevention, mitigation and response, social welfare programs and business market analyses.

In this regard, the International Community pointed out that it wishes to encourage all not to politicize or disrupt the ongoing 2022 National Population and Housing Census.

“We have observed with dismay calls by some elements within the country to boycott the Census,” the release quoted the international partners as saying.

Recognizing the initial challenges, the partners asserted that the Census is now on track and has commenced as of 11 November 2022. Adding that any further disruption would lead to delays in, or possible abortion, of the Census which will benefit no one.

The release further stated that Partners, led by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), are providing technical and financial support to the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services, the agency of the Government with the authority to conduct Census taking, to ensure the census house listing an enumeration is completed within the timeframe of 11-22 November 2022 as announced by the Government.

The International Partner support is aimed at ensuring that the 2022 National Population and Housing Census is of high quality and upholds international principles and standards.

The unique advantage of the census is that it represents the entire statistical universe, down to the smallest geographical/ administrative area of a country or region.

“The Government of Liberia and International partners wish to appeal to all citizens, residents, and visitors to peacefully support the ongoing 2022 National Population and Housing Census by welcoming the Census Enumerators to their homes and facilities and allow them to do their work. Remember that Census takes place every 10 years and the process allows an individual to be heard and counted. So, let’s make this Census count,” the release said.

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