LACE to Provide Business Start-Up Grants for Youth

first_imgLove thanked LACE and other stakeholders of the project for putting smiles on her face-Launches House Hold Enterprise Sub-component of YOP; targets 15,000A project intended to provide business start-up grants for youth in 10 communities in Montserrado County has been launched by the Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE) and House Hold Enterprise (HHE) sub-component.The HHE, which was launched on Monday, April 16, is a sub-component of the Youth Opportunities Project, which will provide business start-up grants for youth and life-skills training to select beneficiaries to properly manage their own businesses.Joseph Williams, LACE Executive Director, said the initiative is part of the government’s plan to help create an enabling environment for young people between the ages of 18-35 and to create their own revenue through household enterprise and agriculture-related activities.“This sub-component is targeting 3,000 beneficiaries over the 5-year implementation period of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP),” he explained.He added that the project is being sponsored by the World Bank to the tone of US$10 million. Mr. Williams commended the World Bank for the support, which he noted will go a long way for the young people of Liberia and the benefiting communities.The LACE Deputy Executive Director further noted that the project is placed into several components but LACE is focused on two components to include: The Household enterprise and the Productive, Public Works and life skills support.The ministries of Youth and Sports, as well as Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment are the sole implementing partners under the YOP program.After the transparent lottery process, Williams said, 80 beneficiaries will be selected and they will go through a three-week youth orientation training by the service provider Education Care. After the training, the group will be divided into eight and each group will receive US$2,500 as a start-up.At the completion of the training, Education Care, the service provider, will identify the line of businesses for the beneficiaries and will place them in a group of eight and subsequently work with them for its effective establishment.In a symbolic style to show the transparency of the lottery exercise, Williams shook a white bucket in front of the participants and picked one of the tickets that identified Ms. Love Kromah as the first lucky winner. In a brief interview with reporters, Ms. Kromah thanked LACE and other stakeholders of the project for putting a smile on her face.She promised to utilize wisely whatever she will receive from the project, in a move to sustain herself. West Point, Sonewhein, Logan Town, Clara Town and many others are part of the communities benefiting from the project.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Gov’t to Increase Budget for Agriculture

first_imgPresident George M. WeahPresident George Weah has reiterated agriculture as critical to the transformation of Liberia’s economy. As such, the President said his administration is rationalizing government’s expenditures to put more money to the sector to improve food security.He made the pronouncement on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, in his pre-recorded nationwide address.The President presented his speech against the backdrop of the mounting economic hardship facing the country where prices of basic commodities are sharply rising to the detriment of ordinary citizens.He added, “We are delivering a new and improved fiscal policy that will be announced with the passage of a credible national budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. In the last several years, we have passed a budget that exceed our revenues potentials. We are now working together with counterparts in other agencies of government to pass a realistic budget.”“To achieve this,” the President said, “We will require sacrifices from all, because our actions will involve reform of our large wage bill, rationalizing government’s spending to put more resources to critical areas like health, education and agriculture.”Experts in the sector said since the end of the Liberian civil crisis (1989-2003), the country’s budget for agriculture is yet to align with the mandate of African leaders to allot 10 percent annually, this many stakeholders anticipate adherence.Up to current, the budget for agriculture remains at 3 percent annually with additional funding coming from external sources such as the World Bank, the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), African Development Bank and donor countries.However, despite these external sources for agriculture, experts are of the opinion that growth in the sector still remain elusive as smallholder farmers are faced with numerous challenges.It can be recalled that the President lamented the low agricultural productivity during his second annual message to the joint session of the 54th Legislature on Monday, January 28, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

UPDATE House GOP Postpones Key Immigration Vote

first_imgThe Republican-run House has rejected a conservative immigration bill that offered no path to citizenship for young “Dreamer” immigrants. It also would have made it harder for immigrant citizens to bring relatives to the U.S. and taken steps to crack down on illegal immigration.The measure’s defeat was long expected. Many GOP moderates considered it too harsh and Democrats were solidly against it.Thursday’s vote gave hard-right Republicans, who largely come from deep-red districts, a chance to broadcast to voters the tough steps they would take on the issue. The measure was defeated 231-193.The House next plans to debate a GOP-measure crafted by Republican leaders as a compromise between party moderates and conservatives.That bill also seems likely to be defeated because some conservatives consider it too lenient.___ President Donald Trump said he’s “officially” inviting Democratic leaders to the White House to discuss immigration legislation.Speaking ahead of a Cabinet meeting, Trump said he was making the open invitation through the press.Trump said: “We should be able to do a bill. I’d invite them to come to the White House any time they want. This afternoon would be good. After the Cabinet meeting would be good.”Trump is blaming Democrats for obstructing immigration legislation, saying, “We need two to tango.” A Republican-led effort in the House to address legal status for young immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally and to fund Trump’s border wall is teetering on the edge of collapse.Trump said: “I just told you I’ll invite Sen. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. They can come over. They can bring whoever they want.”It wasn’t immediately clear whether Democrats had been formally invited or if they were planning to accept.___President Donald Trump is defending his Wednesday executive order to end new family separations at the border, but said Congress needs to act to permanently fix the problem.Speaking before a Cabinet meeting, Trump said “I signed a very good executive order.”But he said the “only real solution” is for Congress to close loopholes in the immigration system, saying “If we don’t close these loopholes there is no amount of money or personnel in the world.”As congressional Republicans look to pass sweeping immigration bills Thursday, Trump said Democrats are obstructionists and is accusing them of not caring about the children separated from their parents.This spring, the Trump administration put in a place a zero-tolerance policy on illegal border crossings, resulting in children separated from families at the border.___AP Photo/J. Scott ApplewhiteSpeaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., meets with reporters before a House showdown on immigration, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 21, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was “pleased” President Donald Trump ordered an end to separating children from parents at the U.S. border.“I was pleased the president took action yesterday to ensure families can remain together while we enforce our immigration laws,” the Wisconsin Republican said at his weekly press conference. “We do not want children taken away from their parents.”But Ryan stopped short of predicting the House will pass legislation Thursday aimed at resolving broader immigration issues ahead of the November elections.Trump tweeted earlier that any such legislation is all but doomed in the narrowly-divided Senate.We do not want children taken away from their parents. Yesterday’s action by @POTUS will ensure families can remain together while we enforce our immigration laws. In a few short hours, the House will take further action on legislation to address our broken immigration system. pic.twitter.com/5y5NTXKtJA— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) June 21, 2018____There’s an embarrassing, $100 billion oops in a House immigration bill.The Republican-written measure was supposed to give initial approval for $24.8 billion spread over the next five years for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico and other security measures.Instead, the legislation says it would provide $24.8 billion “for each” of the next five years.Republicans call it a drafting mistake.The text will be corrected in a procedural vote the House expects to take Thursday.The error is in a bill that offers no pathway to citizenship for many young migrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children and has stringent restrictions on legal immigration. The measure seems certain to be defeated.The House also plans to vote on a more moderate GOP immigration bill.___House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is deriding the Republican immigration legislation coming up for a vote as a “compromise with the devil.”Pelosi said the legislation makes House Republicans “complicit” in President Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in more than 2,000 children being separated from their parents at the border.She spoke as the House raced toward votes on two broad immigration bills that would, among other things, allow immigrant families detained after crossing the border to be held together. Trump suggested Thursday that any measure the chamber passes would be doomed in the Senate anyway. One bill is aimed at appealing to GOP moderates, while the other is harder-line legislation favored by conservatives.Pelosi said the bill aimed at moderates “may be a compromise with the devil, but it’s not a compromise with Democrats.”___A civil rights group attorney says federal prosecutors unexpectedly dropped misdemeanor charges against 17 adult immigrants who crossed the border with children.Efren Olivares is a lawyer with the Texas Civil Rights Project. Speaking outside of the federal courthouse in McAllen, Texas, he said the 17 immigrants were supposed to have been sentenced Thursday morning for improperly entering the U.S.Olivares said the 17 will likely be placed in immigration detention, though he didn’t know whether they would be reunited immediately with their children or released altogether. Asked if they had any reaction to the charges against them being dropped, he said, “They’re asking about their children, frankly.”The Texas Civil Rights Project is interviewing adults to track them and their children through separate government systems.The dropping of the charges comes a day after President Donald Trump reversed a policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents upon entering the U.S. without permission.___The Pentagon says it is providing 21 lawyers to the Justice Department to help prosecute illegal immigration cases on the U.S.-Mexico border.A spokesman, Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, said Thursday that the lawyers have criminal trial experience and will be appointed as full-time special assistant United States attorneys. He said the attorneys will help prosecute border immigration cases with a focus on misdemeanor improper entry and felony illegal entry cases.Davis said the temporary assignments are to last for 179 days.Davis said the Justice Department made the request in May, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis approved it earlier this month.___House and Senate Democrats are demanding that President Donald Trump reunify the families that were separated at the U.S. border.Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi in the House sent a letter Thursday to the White House urging the president to do everything necessary to reunite more than 2,300 children with their families.Trump on Wednesday issued an executive order that allowed families to stay together, but the Democrats say that the Health and Human Services Department didn’t take immediate steps to reunify the families.Earlier Thursday, Trump took aim at the Democrats saying New York’s Schumer and California’s Pelosi are both weak on crime and border security.The House is set to vote Thursday on two immigration bills. House Republican leaders are still trying to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP.___President Donald Trump is fueling uncertainty about an already shaky House GOP immigration overhaul, questioning “the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need nine votes by Democrats in the Senate.”Trump tweeted Thursday that “the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms).” He adds: “Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”Trump’s tweet comes as the House plans to vote on two immigration bills. House Republican leaders are still trying to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP.The president has said previously that he wants to change the Senate’s rules to eliminate the filibuster, and allow passage of all bills on a simple-majority vote.____President Donald Trump says the U.S.-Mexico border is a “big mess,” and that at some point the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate “will be forced to do a real deal” on immigration.Trump’s tweet Thursday comes as the House plans to vote on two immigration bills. House Republican leaders are still trying to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP, although the measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.Trump had embraced a hardline “zero-tolerance policy” at the border, only to back down after reports that the approach resulted in 2,300 children detained separately from their families.Tweeting on Thursday, Trump said Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi are both weak on crime and border security.He wrote: “At some point Schumer and Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem. Schumer used to want Border security – now he’ll take Crime!”___House Republicans are trying to approve an immigration overhaul that teetered ahead of voting Thursday.Lawmakers are struggling to move past a debate that has become politically fraught amid the dire images of families being separated at the border.President Donald Trump’s sudden executive action Wednesday on the border crisis stemmed some of the urgency for Congress to act. But House GOP leaders still were pulling out the stops to bring reluctant Republicans on board to resolve broader immigration issues ahead of the November midterm elections.Passage was always a long shot. But now failure may come at a steeper price as Republicans — and Trump — raise expectations that the party in control of Congress and the White House can fix the nation’s long-standing immigration problems. Share Photo via PBS NewsHourPresident Donald Trump sits at this desk in the Oval Office with DHS Secretary Kristin Nielsen and Vice President Mike Pence prior to signing an executive order on immigration policy at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2018.THE LATEST on the immigration controversy: House Republican leaders abruptly postponed voting on a compromise immigration measure amid ongoing infighting between conservative and moderates.Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office confirmed the decision. Voting that had been expected Thursday now would be held Friday instead. That’s according to aides who demanded anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.House Republicans have been struggling on rival immigration bills. A more conservative measure was rejected Thursday. The compromise was negotiated between GOP conservative and moderate factions.___last_img read more