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39 Million for Liberia: Additional Funding for Liberia's Post war Reconstruction

Washington DC, October 11, 2010

World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region Mrs. Obigeli Ezekwesili, and Liberian officilas including Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan, Planning Minister Amara Konneh, and Minister of State without Portfolio Natty B.Davis

The World Bank has announced additional development funding of US$39 million for Liberia in the coming year. The announcement was made on Sunday October 10 by Mrs.Obigeli Ezekwesili, the World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region during a meeting with the Liberian delegation attending the ongoing Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington DC, the United States.

A release from the Media Services and Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry of Finance said 30.8 million US Dollars of the amount will go towards the Monrovia-Ganta road project. The remainder of the amount will be applied to the power and other key economic sectors.

Mrs. Ezekwesili said the additional funding will be disbursed through the Bank's International Development Association (IDA) grant program. Earlier, the bank's Vice President assured that progress on the Monrovia-Buchanan road will continue unhindered and promised that all is well on course for the Monrovia-Ganta road reconstruction project.

Mrs. Ezekwesili also commended Liberia for the level of fiscal discipline and prudent economic management that enabled the country to reach HIPC completion point in a comparatively short space of time. She said the bank is impressed with the progress Liberia has made in the implementation of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and said the bank looks forward to working with Liberia in crafting its new economic development plan.

Speaking earlier Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan and head of the Liberian delegation briefed the bank on the progress Liberia is making in public financial management and general economic reforms. Minister Ngafuan said the country has a set of priorities that is driving its development agenda. He named infrastructure, principally roads, ports and energy, as constituting the bedrock of Liberia's growth and development strategy, and called on the World Bank Group to assist in putting these priorities on the fast track to implementation.

Minister Ngafuan then commended the Bank for the role it is playing in Liberia's recovery and development. He said the President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Government and people of Liberia appreciate the World Bank's continuing partnership both at the bilateral and multilateral levels. Minister Ngafaun told the meeting attended by World Bank's senior directors and policy advisors for Africa that while Liberia continues to look forward to financial and technical assistance from its partners, including the World Bank, its approach in the medium and long terms is to diversify the sources of financing for infrastructure through partnership. He said to the extent that the nation can afford, it would not hesitate to contribute domestic revenue resources to the development of critical infrastructure such as roads, power and ports.

He concluded by assuring the World Bank African Vice President that the Government of Liberia will remain on track with its policy of transparency and accountability in economic and financial governance reforms.

Also speaking at the meeting, Planning & Economic Affairs Minister Amara Konneh formally presented to the World Bank the second implementation report of the Lift Liberia Poverty Reduction Strategy. Minister Konneh in his briefings stated that plans were already underway to develop a second PRS, but one with a longer term and strategic focus. He also highlighted the need to boost youth employment in the country. He concluded his remarks by asking the World Bank's assistance through the EITI to develop a strategic framework for managing revenues from natural resources such as petroleum.

Other members of the Liberia delegation that attended the meeting were the Minister of State without Portfolio Natty B.Davis, Liberia's Adjunct-Ambassador William Bull, and other members of the Liberian delegation.


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