The President of the Republic, Dr. George Manneh Weah, has commended Liberia’s international partners for their generous contribution to Liberia’s economic revitalization and the upkeep of the national budget.
Delivering his fourth State of the Nation Address Monday, January 25, the Liberian leader provided a breakdown of the country’s revenue during the reporting period and what partners contributed to the fiscal envelop.
According to the President, Government received for the calendar year under review $653.9 Million US dollars, which comprised $475.5 Million US dollars in domestic revenue and $178.4 Million US dollars in external resources from our development partners.
He said the total expenditure for the same period amounted to $606 Million US dollars.
The President reported that the National Legislature recast the 2019/2020 National Budget twice: first to address perceived revenue challenges, and secondly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first recast, according to President Weah, took the National Budget from $525.9 Million US dollars to $505 Million US dollars, but the COVID recast subsequently increased the National Budget to $518 Million US dollars.
Dr. Weah reports: “The Government spent the amount of $518 Million US dollars for the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 and carried forward the cash amount of $7.0 Million US dollars for enactment in the 2020/2021 National Budget, which the National Legislature subsequently passed at an amount of $570 Million US dollars.”
He further reported that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Liberia signed a Development Objective Grant Agreement of $640 Million US dollars that will be programmed to support various projects that the Government of Liberia and USAID will agree on as priority areas of need over the next five (5) years.
These resources are supporting key sectors and will be critical to sustain growth, going forward, the President said, adding that during the period under review, a total amount of $399 Million US dollars was announced and committed to various projects as Official Development Assistance to the Government and people of Liberia
Additionally, the President noted, the amount of $178.6 Million US dollars was received as total budget support, which came from both traditional and non-traditional partners, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, the African Development Bank and the United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The Liberian leader divulged that a major feature of the year under review was a support program which was approved by the International Monetary Fund.
“In December 2019, a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies was signed with the IMF to address various issues of our macro-economy,” said the President who reported that the program was aimed to transform fiscal and monetary policy and improve public sector governance.
He said the first and second reviews of the program have now been concluded and results show that macroeconomic stability is being restored under the program.
In approving the recent disbursement of $48.8 Million US dollars to the Government of Liberia under the IMF-supported program, President Weah said, the Executive Directors of the IMF praised the Government of Liberia for the effective measures that have been undertaken so far to transform fiscal and monetary policy and restore macroeconomic stability.
The President quoted the IMF boss as saying that “the Liberian authorities are committed to fiscal discipline and further improvements in cash management, transparency and accountability in spending, and domestic revenue mobilization to finance their development agenda. The monetary policy stance is appropriately aligned with the inflation objective, and significant progress has been made in strengthening central bank independence.’”