The Government of Liberia on Monday, August 27, 2018, began paying out first labor subsidy in the tone of 541,800 United States Dollars to 3,612 beneficiaries of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP) who are participating in the Productive Public Works or group farming component of the project.
The beneficiaries are drawn from 129 project communities across the country, and each of them is being paid 150 United States Dollars for completing the first milestone of farming work – which is preparing 35 acres of farmland and planting of their food crops.
At ceremonies marking the start of the payment exercise in Gbarngba Town, Bomi County, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister for Administration, Audrian Smith-Forbes, said the Youth Opportunities Project is a significant intervention to alleviating idle mindedness amongst the youth and transforming them into productive citizens.
Deputy Minister Smith-Forbes said, the government is particularly excited about the potential of the YOP project to contribute to food security, and said she is optimistic that donors will scale up funding to the project to provide the youth more empowerment and life-skills opportunities.
Also speaking, the Deputy Executive Director of Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment (LACE), Joseph Williams, admonished the beneficiaries of the YOP to maximize the privileged they have to be part of the project. Mr. Williams, whose Agency is implementing the Productive Public Works component of the YOP stressed the need for the young people to remain focused and encourage the government to build on gains the Youth Opportunities Project is achieving.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is supervising implementation of the Youth Opportunities Project (YOP), which is a 5-year youth employment and empowerment initiative of the Liberian government funded with a 10 million US Dollars loan from the World Bank. The Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection is the other government institution jointly implementing the Youth Opportunities Project.
Upon completion of the second milestone of the farming activities, each beneficiary will again receive US$150 as labor subsidy. The project provided farming tools to each of the farming group. Through a farm management committee, each farming group of 28 persons will determine investment activities to undertake with proceeds from the sale of their crops.