LIBERIA

COUNTRY
PROGRAMME
DOCUMENT
2008 - 2009
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
2
Excerpts from this publication may be reproduced
without authorisation, on condition that the source is
indicated.
© United Nations Human Settlements Programme
(UN-HABITAT), 2008.
Photo credits: © UN-HABITAT/Alain Grimard
HS Number: HS/1114/09E
ISBN Number(Series): 978-92-1-132030-5
ISBN Number:(Volume) 978-92-1-132080-0
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COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 3
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 4
MINISTER 5
SITUATION ANALYSIS 6
National urban policy context 6
Focus area 1: Advocacy, monitoring and partnerships 7
Focus area 2: Participatory urban planning, management and governance 8
Focus area 3: Pro-poor land and housing 10
Focus area 4: Environmentally sound basic urban infrastructure and services 11
Urban sector capacity development needs 12
RECENT AND ON-GOING WORK 13
UN-HABITAT 13
Partners 14
STRATEGY 15
National development goals and priorities 15
UN-HABITAT’s proposed strategy for the sector 16
Programme objectives 17
Identified sector priorities 18
IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS 19
Key principles 19
Information 19
PROGRAMME FRAMEWORK 20
Results/resources by thematic component 20
Required budget 23
ACRONYMS 24
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 28
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
4
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
In April 2007, the Governing
Council of UN-HABITAT
approved our 2008-2013
Medium-Term Strategic and
Institutional Plan. This plan
seeks to promote the alignment
of UN-HABITAT normative and
operational activities at country
level.
The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents are tangible components
of this Plan, as well as a genuine endeavour by
UN-HABITAT to better coordinate its activities in a
consultative and inclusive way involving UN-HABITAT’s
in-country focal points, UN-HABITAT Programme
Managers, national governments, UN country teams,
sister-UN agencies, development partners and all
divisions of our Agency. The UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents are strategic tools meant
to guide all UN-HABITAT activities over a two-year
period. A major dimension of the UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents is to advocate UN-HABITAT’s
mandate and address the urban challenges facing
developing countries.
The UN-HABITAT Country Programme Documents
identify national urban development goals and
priorities including shelter, urban governance, access to
basic services and credit. Important cross cutting issues
such as the environment, gender, response to disasters,
and vulnerability reduction are also addressed. The
UN-HABITAT Country Programme Documents focus
on UN-HABITAT country programming. They serve as
a work plan for UN-HABIAT Programme Managers
and a reference tool for national and local actors
involved in sustainable urban development. According
to the Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional
Action Plan adopted by the UN-HABITAT Committee
of Permanent Representatives on 6 December 2007,
twenty UN-HABITAT Country Programme Documents
were completed in 2008, including the One-UN Pilot
countries where UN-HABITAT is active.
In line with the UN reform process, the UN-
HABITAT Country Programme Documents seek to
strengthen the role of the UN and to demonstrate
its commitment. I wish to thank our UN-HABIAT
Programme Managers for their input and dedication
and for compiling these UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Documents under guidance of the
Regional and Technical Cooperation Division and with
the support of all branches and programmes of the
Agency.
Anna K. Tibaijuka
Executive Director, UN-HABITAT
FOREWORDS
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 5
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MINISTER
iberia’s national recovery,
development processes and
programs are confronted
with many challenges.
Among these include
weak urban governance,
lack of decentralization
policies and strategies,
poor land administration
and management, lack
of national urban policy
framework and regional planning, housing and
shelter delivery policies, rapid pace of urbanization,
increased urban poverty and inadequate minimum
basic social services are serious challenges that need
to be addressed. These challenges and their attendant
spillovers now lead to the urgency of addressing the
mandates of the Habitat Agenda and the UN-HABITAT
Medium Term Strategic Implementation Plan (MTSIP)
in as far as these two instruments will impact the
future trends of human settlements in Liberia.
The Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the United
Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF)
have informed the Liberia UN-HABITAT Country
Program Document. Both documents have identified
the national vision, priorities, strategies, have set
the development agenda, and defined key project
interventions including supportive and complementary
interventions that deal with achieving the objectives of
the HABITAT Agenda in Liberia.
Indeed, this first Liberia HABITAT Country Program
Document is not only necessary; but, also timely. The
document comes at a time of the launch of Liberia’s
Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) - 2008-2011. Issues
of the Habitat Agenda are underscored in the PRS.
The program outlined in this UN-HABITAT are direct
project components and abstractions of the PRS and
their implementation will require political will of the
Government and support of Liberia’s international
partners and the mobilization of resources to achieve
the objectives. These objectives are buttressed by
the aspirations of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,
to improve the living conditions and standards of
Liberians.
Minister Amara M. Konneh
Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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NATIONAL URBAN POLICY
CONTEXT
Liberia has a population of approximately 3.73 million
inhabitants, with an ‘urban’ population of about
2.21 million and an urban population growth rate
per year of 5.65 percent. Settlements with more than
2000 inhabitants are considered ‘urban’ settlements.
This suggests that over 50 percent of the population
now live in dispersed urban settlements pointing
to rapid urban population growth, migration and a
shift in urbanisation trends from rural to ‘urban’, and
from ‘urban’ to urban. Moreover, urban definitions,
functional criteria, classifications and characteristics of
human settlements in Liberia appear to reveal a wide
range of weaknesses in the management of urban
areas, such as in the following various sectors: urban
governance, urban policy and project formulation,
urban management, administration and finance.
Existing policies, regulatory and legal frameworks
and instruments for human settlements and urban
development issues are fragmented, distributed
among poorly coordinated ministries and agencies.
Significant urban problems have emerged as a result
of this rapid urbanisation. More than 80 percent
of housing stock has been either destroyed during
the years of conflict and/or are in various states
of disrepair. Other problems include a multiplicity
of urban settlements in the hierarchy of human
settlements (hierarchy of settlements means
classifications of categories of settlements from
lowest to highest), weak urban policy and governance
(administration and management) structures and
environments, the lack of effective decentralisation
policies and strategies, weak human settlements
planning, no national land and housing policies and
shelter delivery strategies and in- adequate urban
finance. Moreover, slums are mushrooming and no
slum upgrading interventions are being undertaken.
More than 1.4 million inhabitants live on less than
USD0.50 cents per day. Widespread urban poverty
has a visible gender feature. Unemployment has
affected about 84 percent of the work force.
There are pressures on the poor. Inadequate urban
infrastructures need attention and there are weak
national and local capacities to deliver basic public
services. Solid waste management is uncontrolled
reflecting a lack of official dumpsites, and
uncontrolled and irregular garbage collection and
disposal.
Poverty, congestion and overcrowding are impacting
on the nations health: leading to a rapid increase
in the spread of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted
diseases, and an increase in the levels of crime.
Life expectancy is a mere 47 years, malnutrition is
prevalent, and vulnerability, especially among women,
girls, the elderly and the disabled, are particularly
visible. There are not enough resources to solve
Liberia’s problems. The level of resources available to
solve Liberia’s urban problems are mostly unavailable,
inadequate or misdirected, and interventions so far
have been unsustainable. In effect, there are critical
gaps in Liberia’s human settlement and urban policies,
and they have been virtually powerless to stem the
tide of the rapid and haphazard sprawl of urban
settlements. Urban policy and governance function
in line with a highly centralised government structure
that has poor or nonexistent links between macro-
economic and spatial planning policies.
Economic growth and urbanisation are two interactive
components requiring interactive policy responses.
Government needs to undertake immediate action to
plan long term policies and strategic measures and
interventions to manage its urbanisation challenge.
It needs to establish the appropriate legal, regulatory
and institutional frameworks and urban management
SITUATION ANALYSIS
STATISTICAL OVERVIEW
Urbanisation (2008)
Total Population: 3.9 m
Urban Population: 2.3 m (60%)
Annual population growth rates(2005-2010)
National: 4.50%
Urban: 5.65%
Population of major cities (2008)
Monrovia: 1 m
Source: UN DESA
Slum indicators
Slum to Urban Population: 56%
% urban population with access to:
Urban Population with access to safe water:
98%
Urban Population with access to improved
sanitation: 45%
Source: UN-HABITAT , 2001








COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 7
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structures. It needs to address urban financing issues
and the capacities of local government. It needs
proper human settlements planning, legislation of
security of tenure, proper housing and shelter delivery
policies and strategies, accelerate delivery of basic
services, provision of local economic development
possibilities, strengthening of the institutional
framework for urban administration and management
and the development of a national land and housing
policy.
Unregulated urbanisation and development by private
capital is not easily amended by strategic planning
and policy-making. These structural challenges
inhibit innovative planning policies and restrict the
instruments to coordinate urban development. A
profound re-conceptualisation of the role of the
urban sector is the most likely solution – one that
highlights the broader framework of development
aspirations. Premised on the government’s objectives
to decentralise - underpinned by UN-HABITAT’s Good
Urban Governance and Security of Tenure Campaigns
and complemented by the poverty reduction
objectives of the government and its partners - this
re-conceptualisation could have an immense impact
on the nature of urban and regional development
planning, as well as on institutional and governance
structures and the systems that regulate them.
Part one of the Liberia HCPD is divided into four of the
five mutually reinforcing focus areas of UN-HABITAT’s
Medium-Term Strategic Institutional Plan for 2008-
2013, as approved by the Governing Council in 2007.
FOCUS AREA 1: ADVOCACY,
MONITORING AND PARTNERSHIPS
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
The Liberian government and its partners have realised
the daunting nature of the development and capacity
building challenges it faces and they are committed
to transforming the public sector including its various
institutions to support the private sector’s role in
the country’s economic recovery. Efforts are already
underway in this regard. The government, with the
assistance of the UN and other international partners,
is supporting and complementing ongoing initiatives
in the development of the Poverty Reduction Strategy.
Consequently, a number of public sector reform
measures have been taken inlcuding institutional
restructuring and strengthening. These reforms
include, governance reforms and public sector
capacity building and training, rebuilding the public
and private sectors to improve knowledge and develop
skills; addressing corruption; decentralisation of
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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political governance and basic social service delivery;
strengthening the rule of law and respect for human
rights; conflict policy formulation, implementation and
management; land and property rights administration
and management; strengthening economic and
social policy management; establishing a reliable data
base; addressing gender inequities; strengthening
environmental rules and regulations; involving
broader participation in the governance process and
enhancing youth development and involvement in the
development process.
The key areas that UN-HABITAT can intervene if
resources are made available are in the areas of
decentralisation, urban and regional development,
formulation of housing policies, land administration
and management, urban governance and capacity
building of local governments, water and sanitation
provision and establishing an urban data base.
VULNERABILITY REDUCTION
The 2006 Global Human Development Report placed
Liberia at the bottom of a list of countries with the
lowest human development indices. In 2005, Liberia’s
human development index was 0.319 far below the
0.515 for sub-Saharan Africa in 2003. Years of conflict
have devastated the social infrastructure, destroyed
or seriously weakened capacities and eroded pre-
war gains made in improving living conditions. The
Poverty Profile Study indicates that about 80 percent
of the population suffers from income poverty, living
below the universally established poverty line of
USD1 per day. Poor households live on USD11.32 per
month to feed an average of six persons - meaning,
that vulnerable urban households live on less than
USD.50 cents per day, unable to meet their daily
nutritional needs or to educate their children. In urban
areas, 75 percent of households are poor, while 40
percent live in extreme poverty. In Monrovia, about
50 percent still live below the poverty line, while 22
percent live in severe poverty. Poor urban residents
face long periods of hunger, lack safe drinking water,
poor or no sanitation facilities, limited or no access
to health and education and other basic services.
Additionally, the Nutrition Survey further underscored
that the nutritional status of the poor is extremely low
especially among mothers and girls living in urban
areas. In this regard, any policy should focus on the
extent of the poverty and the food insecurity in Liberia.
The economy is weak but slowly recovering. A weak
economy has contributed to income poverty, to a
lack of capacity, to exclusion, marginalization and
the lack of a voice among the poor. The UNDAF
will assess the magnitude of the vulnerability of the
poor, help strengthen the national management
and implementation frameworks and develop
capacities for pro-poor policies. It hopes to increase
access to employment and sustainable livelihoods
opportunities, especially for vulnerable groups and to
improve household food security. Under the Liberia
Poverty Reduction Strategy Pillar 2, Revitalising
the Economy, government will undertake to design
appropriate policies and build the requisite economic
management capacities to revitalise the economy.
The programme will address skills training, and
build capacities of the informal sector with a special
focus on women, improve urban services and local
economic development through labour intensive
public works, boost the small and medium enterprise
sectors, decentralise community reconstruction efforts,
improve access to finance and improve access to land.
In essence, incorporating the needs of the vulnerable
and undertaking targeted interventions as part of the
process of macro-economic policy reform.
FOCUS AREA 2: PARTICIPATORY
URBAN PLANNING, MANAGEMENT
AND GOVERNANCE
GOVERNANCE AND INSTITUTIONS
Liberia has a highly centralised government. Limited
decentralisation (de-concentration and delegation) to
local authorities does exist. The Local Government Law
stipulates that local municipalities have the power to
elect mayors and council members, make laws and
promulgate ordinances, levy fines and taxes and hold
real properties, sue and be sued in a court of law.
However, there is no decentralisation policy. Authority-
dependent relationships and interference in local
decision making by central government functionaries
characterises the governance of human settlements in
Liberia.
The Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy and the
UNDAF have both mentioned that relative progress
is being made in promoting democracy and good
governance. Decentralisation and good governance
are the tools recognised to reduce poverty.
Consequently, both instruments have reinforced their
commitment to good governance as a key strategy for
national recovery and development with the objectives
of enhancing transparency and accountability in the
public sector and thus lending support to private
sector initiatives.
Resources are scarce to support the multiplicity of
local government authorities. Therefore, interventions
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 9
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should include a redefinition and refocusing of
mandates, structures and functions of public sector
institutions. The focus should be on urban policy
and project interventions, constitutional and judicial
reform, definitions of local government, building
capacities of local and national public authorities
and institutions, conflict management, reducing
corruption, enhancing information management and
formulation of appropriate policies for the economy.
Good governance encourages the participation of
local populations in the decision-making process
that affects their welfare and wellbeing. To improve
the wellbeing of the population the government has
announced that it will build local housing estates
for the elderly and finance urban infrastructure
development.
URBAN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
The Local Government Law vests certain powers in
local governments. Every city is created by an Act
of National Legislature which also vests powers in
institutions established to manage the affairs of urban
centres. The planning machinery of Liberia provides
for each Ministry/Agency of government to develop
its own plan which is coordinated by the Ministry of
Planning and Economic Affairs responsible for the
formulation of a national plan. This overlapping of
shared responsibilities has created problems. Each
Ministry, Agency, Public Corporation of government
has mandates, but their efforts are poorly coordinated
and integrated. For example, the Ministry of Public
Works is responsible for roads and civic construction
works, maintenance, and administers the 1957 Zoning
Laws. The Ministry of Internal Affairs supervises the
offices of all City Mayors, except Monrovia, and has an
Urban Planning Unit, but it is not active. The Monrovia
City Corporation has an urban planning unit which
lacks resources and technical capacity. The Ministry
of Planning and Economic Affairs has a Regional
Planning Department but no regional development
policy. Land surveying is handled by the Ministry of
Land and Mines, while the National Housing Authority
is mandated to construct public housing and perform
urban planning tasks. The Liberia Water and Sewerage
Corporation is responsible for urban water supply; the
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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Liberia Electricity Corporation for electricity supply. The
University of Liberia has a Regional Science Graduate
School which teaches urban planning but lacks
teaching staff, logistics and material support.
There are multifaceted dimensions to the capacity
building requirements to improve urban planning and
management and sustain urban life in Liberia. These
include, but are not limited to the following: capacities
in urban governance and finance, urban/town and
city planning, land use planning, environmental
engineering, waste management, land administration
and management, national urban and regional
development policies. Building the capacities of local
authorities in the areas of planning, land use planning,
environmental engineering and waste management
among others can improve the quality of urban life.
Additional support is also needed to improve access
to land, low cost building materials and basic services
for the urban poor by formulating a national housing
policy and a water and sanitation policy.
LAND ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
The dual land tenure system (statutory laws and
traditional land practices) is controversial. The question
is whether land tenure should come under a single
tenure system or whether the dual system should be
maintained with constitutional and legal provisions to
protect the traditional land tenure system from abuse
and allow for greater private ownership and minimise
excessive long term holdings of productive large land
areas? Insecurity of land tenure is pervasive in urban
areas. The land information and records systems
have been compromised, thereby, exacerbating
the problems of land acquisition and legal security
of tenure. The absence of legal mechanisms for
informal negotiation and arbitration and the lack of
institutional capacity to decisively resolve land conflicts
within, but especially across communities in a way
that is perceived as fair can generate a potential for
land conflicts to fester and eventually escalate into
violent strife. Improving land and property rights and
security of tenure could play a vital role in promoting
rural development and accelerating the growth of the
national economy.
All land in Liberia is held under the Eminent Domain
Law. Liberia has a low man to land ratio. However,
population distribution between urban and rural areas
reveals that pressures are increasing in urban areas
due to higher population densities. Land problems
are emerging as a matter of urgency. Most land is
owned by private individuals including tribal holdings.
The urbanisation process has been unregulated,
haphazard and chaotic resulting in the increase
in demand for land, shelter and delivery of basic
services. The demand for land is resulting in the rapid
peripheral growth of slums and squatter settlements.
Consequently, land administration and management
issues are now impacting on the peace. As a result,
there is an urgent and institutional challenge to
strengthen security of tenure issues.
The President underscored in her Inaugural Address
the need for land reform as one of the top priorities in
promoting economic growth and accelerating poverty
reduction. Land reforms will improve the functioning
of land markets. A comprehensive national land policy
will address property rights to land and security of
tenure, as well as the issue of access to land and the
functioning and impact of markets and non-market
channels. The land policy can deliver an affordable
supply of land, especially for the urban poor, provide
a framework for the orderly supply of land within
a strategic planning framework, retain private use
consistent with public needs and interests and offer
long term investment stability without the negative
impacts of speculation, monitor the effects of land
distribution on the marginaliSed and poor, stream line
land administration and management as part of the
government’s immediate strategy to ensure economic
growth and enhance urban development; the urgent
need to develop a national land and housing policy
and a Land Act.
FOCUS AREA 3: PRO-POOR LAND
AND HOUSING
HOUSING, URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE
ENVIRONMENT
The Liberian housing crisis is a reflection of weak
policies which predate the civil war that resulted in
the destruction of about 80 percent of the housing
stock. The war created and exposed the inadequacies
of stock but also of housing quality and standards.
The shortage of housing and shelter is more acute
in the urban areas where congestion and over-
crowding is visible. The National Housing Authority
and the National Housing and Savings Bank were
established by government in recognition of Liberia’s
housing problems. Several public housing estates
were established. However, only the National Housing
Authority is functioning. The absence of a national
housing policy as well as appropriate institutional
arrangements represents a severe institutional
weakness in Liberia.
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According to the 1998 Housing Indicator Survey, the
number of households with precarious land tenure
was 43 percent for Monrovia and its peri-urban areas.
Government’s response was inadequate, providing
only 11.7 percent of housing compared to 70 percent
by the informal sector and 18.3 percent by the
formal sector. The government has plans to construct
additional low cost housing estates in major cities as
well to build homes for the elderly, but it will have
to repossess land. The majority of the urban housing
stock is provided by the private sector on a monthly
rental, annual or quarterly lease basis or under long-
term lease agreements. There is a high demand for
housing, especially low cost housing. Commercial
Banks are engaged in investments in the housing
sector and credit unions provide housing loans to their
members to improve homes.
Urban development is chaotic, ad-hoc and
unregulated. There is no urban development policy
to guide spatial growth and development. Many
government agencies are engaged in environmental
issues. Coordination between these institutions is
weak.
Many urban homes use pit latrines, hand pumps
and open wells. Only a few have flush toilets and
pipe borne water supply. In the slums, where the
urban poor suffer the greatest environmental hazards
ranging from over crowding/congestion, poor waste
disposal, lack of safe drinking water, pollution and
various ailments, no identifiable institution takes
responsibility for the slums. While various advocacy
and awareness campaigns have been undertaken,
these efforts need to be coordinated, strengthened
and sustained.
FOCUS AREA 4:
ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND BASIC
URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE AND
SERVICES
SHELTER AND BASIC SERVICE DELIVERY
Prior to the civil war, the Liberian government
undertook a slum up-grading programme that
resulted in the emergence of urban satellite towns.
The sustainable resettlement of refugees and internally
displaced persons has been a pre-requisite for Liberia’s
economic recovery and consolidation of peace.
Accelerating economic growth and development
has made the delivery of shelter and basic services
priorities of the Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy
and the UNDAF. The majority of the population has
no access to affordable shelter, safe drinking water,
health, education, electricity, sewerage (use pit
latrines), and waste and garbage disposal systems.
Access rates to shelter and basic services, especially
for the poor and the vulnerable, are very poor. This
is reflected in the statistical indices of the country
i.e. high maternal and infant mortality rates, high
incidence of malaria and water borne diseases,
acute respiratory infections, high urban poverty,
illiteracy and lower life expectancy prior to the war,
among others.* Additionally, the slums of Liberia
have had no upgrading interventions in 25 years;
though ad-hoc interventions by government, local
and international institutions have been undertaken.
Other factors impact shelter delivery including high
costs and unregulated use of urban land, lack of
urban and regional development policies, no sustained
slum upgrading interventions, weak enforcement of
the existing zoning laws, high cost of construction
materials and a lack of an appropriate and conducive
environment policy and institutional framework.
Private sector provision of shelter and basic services is
higher than that of the public sector. Due to the high
costs, the urban poor attend public facilities where the
services are very poor. The government recognises the
situation and hopes to accelerate the delivery of basic
services and low cost housing estates and homes for
the elderly in urban centres.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
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IDENTIFIED SECTOR PRIORITIES
BASIC URBAN SERVICES
Provision of water
and sanitation for
3 Regional Urban
Sector Profiling for
Sustainability(RUSPS)
cities and Robertsport
Upgading streets of
RUSPS cities
Build capacities of
waste management
in order to promote
local economic
development
opportunities


GOOD URBAN GOVERNANCE
Introduce urban
observatory and database
management system into
the domain and national
statistics.
Decentralisation
Local leadership training.



SECURITY OF TENURE
Land administation and
management in Monrovia
Kakata and Gbarnga
Digitalisaton of land
records system.
Urban Housing and
Land policy, Shelter and
institutional reforms
Slum upgrading in
strategic urban areas.




URBAN SECTOR CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
The table above organizes the sub-sectoral priorities of the Liberia HCPD: Water and Sanitation,
Governance, and the Vulnerable and Excluded. Proposed interventions to each sub-section are
presented in the context of broader development goals highlighted by iPRSP, UNDAF and the Medium
Term Development Plan.
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 13
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COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 15
L
I
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E
R
I
A
STRATEGY
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT GOALS
AND PRIORITIES
The Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy , 2008-2011,
and the UNDAF, 2008-2011 developed a national
vision including their respective interventions in the
national context. The national development priorities
are governance and rule of law, capacity development
and building, rehabilitation and delivery of basic
services (water and sanitation, health and education),
land and property rights within the contexts of
conflict management, gender disparities, economic
revitalisation, vulnerability reduction and improving the
national data base at central and local levels.
The Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper identified
a number of settlements issues for intervention. The
interventions proposed are for the review of the Act
creating the City of Monrovia and the zoning law,
developing a national housing policy, the training,
knowledge and skills building capacities of local
authorities, including Monrovia City in governance
and service delivery, establishing a land commission
and resolving land and property issues, enhancing the
capacities of small micro-enterprises with a focus on
women, developing economic profiles for fourteen
counties, implementing the national youth policies
and strategies and developing regional profiles for
local areas. On the other hand, the UNDAF has
taken conflict and peace building and consolidation
approaches to build capacities and infrastructure for
the settlement of land disputes, streamlining the Goals
in local and national planning processes, building
capacities in participatory planning and monitoring
and evaluation, support vulnerability assessment,
decentralise government planning, administration,
budgeting and service delivery capacities to the
county level and building capacities of county and
district level administrations. It hopes to support
youth leaders to plan and implement and monitor
development. The Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy
with its four pillars and the UNDAF Outcomes have
been aligned to produce a national policy and
strategic framework for poverty reduction. Human
settlements and urban sector issues in the current
programming instruments are explicitly covered as
response measures to overall national development.
Land issues are seen as important in poverty reduction,
governance, economic growth and environmental
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
16
sustainability. These national visions and development
agendas provide collective responses to national
priorities and needs within the context of the Goals.
National economic policies and programmes will
be implemented to support equitable, inclusive and
sustainable socio-economic development and UNDAF#
3 by 2011 seeks to promote democratic, accountable
and transparent government, more participatory and
inclusive approaches to government, and respect for
human rights standards.
UN-HABITAT’S PROPOSED
STRATEGY FOR THE SECTOR
The urban system in Liberia requires immediate
attention. Given that resources are scarce, a close
collaboration with the UNSYSTEM and partners,
UN joint planning, programming and assessments
and County Support Team strategy will be the key
to focusing on specific areas of intervention. UN-
HABITAT will endeavour to mobilise resources and will
be prepared undertake interventions. Decentralisation
strengthens local democracy and institutions,
empowers citizens and provides local governments
with sufficient authority, human and financial
resources and transform them into participatory
institutions responsible and accountable to citizens.
Central government takes overall responsibility for
establishing an effective decentralisation framework
based on recognised principles of subsidiary
relationships. Moreover, a wide range of capacity
development and building interventions (direct and
indirect training of trainers) and supportive strategies
such as delivery of tool kits will improve skills and
knowledge and empower local authorities and
communities in their urban service delivery activities
and institutionalise communications and coordinating
strategies. Urban centres are serviced by integrated
planning and management and will require a
consultative and participatory process and “learning
by decision making” approaches at appropriate levels.
The Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-information
Service and the National Information Management
Center will be used to develop and integrate urban
indicators into the national statistical domain and
with the Liberia Institute of Public Administration in
training people and capacity building ventures with
line ministries and local authorities.
There is a need to improve security of tenure,
spatial planning and land use. In this regard, surveys,
assessments of existing land laws, regulations
and practices, and linking the housing and shelter
delivery strategies to address poverty reduction
will be implemented. Spatial planning instruments
with agreed socio-economic guidelines to facilitate
the formulation of an integrated land and housing
policy will be adopted with the view to regularising
land tenure through a process of consultations and
city focused strategies. Promoting local economic
development through micro- credit and waste
management will be implemented.
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 17
L
I
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E
R
I
A
UN-HABITAT’S specialised knowledge and experience,
combined partnerships with UN Technical Agencies,
international and local consultants, international and
local non-governmental organisations and technicians
within their respective public sector agencies will
be utilised. Political will, local and institutional
partnerships and commitments at national and local
levels will be critical.
PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the Liberia UN-HABITAT Country
Programme are as follows:
(i) To improve the living conditions of a war affected
population and to re-integrate them into improved
human settlements
(ii) Develop urban indicators and build local capacities
to collect, collate, analyse and monitor urban
indicators and establish an urban information and
data base (urban observatory)
(iii) Improve access to basic services for the urban poor,
especially for women, children, the elderly and the
disabled
(iv) Promote local economic development
(v) Develop public policies on solid waste management
and water and sanitation;
(vi) Build capacities of national and local municipal
authorities in leadership and management skills
and women’s role in participatory planning
and decision making and develop tool kits and
manuals, restructure, train and strengthen local
municipal planning units;
(vii) Support the land reform process, build
capacities of national and local authorities’ in
land management and administration; develop
a national housing policy and shelter delivery
implementation strategies and plan; undertake
studies and propose legal and institutional reforms
in the housing sector and build institutional
capacities.
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
The table presents the main capacity development
needs for the following components: Governance,
Urban planning and Management and Housing
and the Environment. As these are cross-cutting
components, they highlight capacity development
priorities for all focus areas of the Liberia UN-HABITAT
Country Programme Document.
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
18
IDENTIFIED SECTOR PRIORITIES
The following table organises the sub-sectoral
priorities of the Liberia UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document: Water and Sanitation,
Governance, and the Vulnerable and Excluded.
Proposed interventions to each sub-section are
presented in the context of broader development
goals highlighted by Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy
and the UNDAF.
BASIC URBAN SERVICES
Provision of water and sanitation for 3 Regional Urban
Sector Profiling for Sustainability(RUSPS) cities and
Robertsport Upgading streets of RUSPS cities
Build capacities of waste management in order to
promote local economic development opportunities
GOOD URBAN GOVERNANCE
Introduce urban observatory and database
management system into the domain and national
statistics
Decentralisation, and effective legal, regulatory and
institutional frameworks and structures.

Administrative and management skills and
procedures.
Information management and effective
communications and coordination strategies.
effective enforcement of city ordinances and
regulations.
Improved remunerative conditions.
Improved venerability assessments, operational
working manuals, clear mandates.
Logistical and material support.
SECURITY OF TENURE
Land administation and management in Monrovia
Kakata and Gbarnga
DIGITALISATION OF LAND RECORDS SYSTEM
Urban Housing and Land policy, Shelter and
institutional reforms
Slum upgrading in strategic urban areas.






COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 19
L
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KEY PRINCIPLES
UN-HABITAT Country Programme Document will be
jointly approved and signed between the Government
of Liberia and UN-HABITAT; thereby, establishing the
legal context of projects. A National Project Steering
Committee under the aegis of the National Habi-
tat Committee, chaired by the Minister of Planning
and Economic Affairs will serve as the apex national
executing body along with UN-HABITAT represented
by the Chief Technical Advisor assisted by the HPM.
The National Project Steering Committee will be
responsible for policy issues and to monitor program
implementation and coordination activities and will
meet quarterly to review monitoring reports and make
decisions regarding subsequently actions. Where
applicable, a Local Project Coordination Team will be
established under the office of the City Mayor with
the County Superintendent, as an ex-officio member,
representing the Ministry of Internal Affairs. Represen-
tatives from sector ministries/ agencies, NGOs, CSOs,
and the private sector will also constitute members of
the Coordinating Team.
The CTA will supervise project implementation while
the HPM will liaise with and back stop project imple-
mentation with the Government. Responsibilities for
project design, implementation and finance will be
undertaken by UN-HABITAT Headquarters in collabo-
ration with the Project Implementation Unit directly
under the supervision of the CTA through UNDP.
UN-HABITAT will provide administrative and financial
oversight and in consultations with various partners
and stakeholders.
INFORMATION
Programme implementation will generate information
for decision making and provide technical support
to policy makers, partners and stakeholders. Reliable
information and data are crucial to ensuring sound
decision making. Therefore timing information and
data collection, production, analysis, and dissemina-
tion (through the media, workshops and seminars) of
information will be prioritized. UN-HABITAT tool kits
and training manuals and web-sites will be used.
IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
20
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United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
24
ADB Africa Development Bank
AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
CTA Chief Technical Advisor
CSOs Civil Society Organizations
DFID Department for International Development
EU European Union
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Disease
HPCD UN-HABITAT Country Program Document
HPM UN-HABITAT Program Manager
INGOs International non governmental organizations
ILO International Labor Organization
IMF International Monetary Fund
IPRS Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy
LISGIS Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-information Services
LIPA Liberia Institute of Public Administration
MDGs Millennium Development Goals
MIA Ministry of Internal Affairs
MLM&E Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy
MPEA Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs
MPW Ministry of Public Works
MTSIP Medium Term Strategic Implementation Plan
NHA National Housing Authority
NGOs Non governmental Organizations
RTCD Regional and Technical Cooperation Bureau
RUSPS Rapid Urban Profiling for Sustainability
SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
STD Sexually Transmitted Disease
UN United Nations
UNDAF United Nations Development Assistance Framework
UNEP United Nations Environmental Program
UNDESA United Nations Division of Economic and Social Affairs
UN-HABITAT United Nations Human Settlements Programme
UNHCR United Nations High Commission for Refugees
ACRONYMS
COUNTRY PROGRAMME DOCUMENT 2008 – 2009 25
L
I
B
E
R
I
A
UK United Kingdom
UNFPA United Nations Fund for Population Activities
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women
UNMIL United Nations Mission in Liberia
USA United States of America
USAID United States Agency for International Development
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States
The Habitat Country Programme Document for Liberia
outlines the main objectives and priorities for UN-
HABITAT. In collaboration with the Government and
other UN Agencies, the overall aim of the UN-HABITAT
Country Programme Documents is to promote the
Habitat Agenda. UN-HABITAT plays an active role in
urban development and policy formulation. Through
partnerships with various ministries, UN-HABITAT has
assisted in identifying key urban issues and areas of
support to improve the urban situation in Liberia.
Through an analysis of seven key sectors that include:
Governance and Institutions, Land administration
and management, Shelter and Basic Services delivery,
Urban Planning and Management, Housing/ Urban
development and environment, Venerability reduction
and Capacity Development, the Liberia UN-HABITAT
Country Programme Document provides an overview
of Liberia’s national policy context and the intervention
areas for government to address urban development
challenges.
The multilateral programming instruments presented
in the Liberia UN-HABITAT Country Programme
Document that help to guide national priorities and
the UN system priorities are the Liberia Interim Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper and the Third UNDAF.
Liberia’s national development goals and priorities are
based on the Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategyr, the
nation’s main development policy framework. They
support poverty reduction and economic growth.
Taking into account the UNDAF and other UN system
activities, the country programme in Liberia is currently
formulating a strategy to approach the urban sector
through the development of long term development
strategies. As a whole, the UN-HABITAT Country
Programme Document presents a clear programme
document aimed at guiding UN-HABITAT’s current and
future work in Liberia.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Regional Office for Africa and the Arab States (ROAAS)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (+254) 20-762 3075, www.unhabitat.org
Habitat Programme Manager in Liberia:
Mr. Fole Sherman ( fole.sherman@undp.org)
© UNITED NATIONS

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