Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
107. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade his plans to develop the embassy in Monrovia to full ambassador strength; if he will directly support civil society in Liberia; and if the regulations for education fellowships will be loosened. [9716/19]
Ireland opened an Embassy in Liberia in June 2018, part of the Global Ireland 2025 initiative. Ireland's diplomatic presence in Liberia will be increased to two diplomats from September 2019. Upgrading the development office in Liberia and the posting of Irish staff to Monrovia is a further step towards strengthening Ireland's presence in West Africa.
Embassy Monrovia is in the process of completing a new five-year Mission Strategy for Ireland's development cooperation relationship with Liberia. The strategy will promote the empowerment of women and girls, improve health care, reduce malnutrition and gender-based violence. We will continue to support inclusive democratic processes. As Ireland's relationship with Liberia deepens over the lifetime of the new strategy, the question of staffing the mission will be kept under review.
Ireland will continue to work with a range of partners in Liberia, including civil society organisations and UN agencies.
The Fellowship Training Programme, which awards scholarships for full-time study at Masters level at an Irish higher level institution is open to candidates from Liberia. A review of the Fellowship Training Programme more generally is underway and will, when completed, make recommendations as to future directions.