Brian Brewer, a European Union Programme Officer in Monrovia, told IRIN today that the EU would expand its resettlement programme in Liberia and move towards developmental activities in 1999. He said EU projects would focus on the resettlement and reintegration of the internally displaced by the seven-year war which ended last year, increase food production in order “to break the food dependency” syndrome, repair roads and bridges, and produce and disseminate adapted school books.
In 1998, the EU funded community-based projects to facilitate the resettlement of Liberians in the counties of Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Sinoe, Maryland and Grand Kru. Brewer said in 1999 the programme would expand to include Lofa, Bomi and Cape Mount counties. He said 8,000 people were expected to moved from Monrovia to Grand Gedeh next year, adding that it was important that the international community help them rebuild their lives. The EU projects would continue to provide employment in projects which would benefit the community such as the repair of road networks, preparing land for crop production, strengthening agricultural production, and building dykes and clay dams. Brewer said over half of US $50 million EU budget in Liberia for 1999 would be channelled towards community-based projects.
Brewer added that the EU sponsored a US $1 million programme for the production of school books, which were rewritten to reflect the civil war in Liberia and its impact on Liberian society. Most of the books were aimed at schools in the interior which have been poorly endowed with educational material, Brewer added.
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