Hague, Netherlands - President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf held talks with Her Royal Highness Princess Maxima of the Netherlands on the eve of a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue on Water in the Post-2015 Agenda and Discussion of the Results of the Global Thematic Consultation on Water.
Princess Maxima, who is the UN Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, met with President Sirleaf in the first of a series of meetings with the co-chairs of the UN High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The meeting mainly focused on making inclusive financing a key component of the post-2015 development agenda.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the Princess pointed out that savings increased the resilience of the poor and protected them from falling back into poverty. She noted that even though large numbers of people make the transition out of poverty each year, health problems and other shocks force millions back into poverty. “By emphasizing innovative ways to help create easy access to financing, the world’s poor can increase their resilience,” she said.
For her part, President Sirleaf concurred with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate about the importance of inclusive financing as a tool of poverty reduction. The Liberian leader thanked Princess Maxima for her work in advancing ideas on how to increase financing and financial services to the poor. “By raising these issues you have drawn the world’s attention and created a debate around these ideas,” she said, adding, “As we discuss these ideas, best practices will become shared experiences in advancing the one goal of ending poverty.”
President Sirleaf explained that in many African countries, Liberia included, there is an informal form of financing called “susu” in which people equally contribute to a pool of money and took turns receiving a lump sum. She agreed with the Princess that these informal networks must be linked to the formal banking sector to increase access to financial services.
The two agreed to continue their work to ensure that inclusive financing be brought to the fore as part of the post-2015 global development agenda.
In another development, the Liberian President met a delegation from Tilburg University and was briefed on the implementation of a partnership agreement between Tilburg and the University of Liberia.
The two universities will collaborate to increase the capacity of teachers and students at the University of Liberia. Beginning this year, four Liberians, initially teachers, will pursue further studies at Tilburg in various disciplines. President Sirleaf thanked Tilburg University and committed to working together to improve higher education in Liberia.