GoL Reacts to McCarthy’s Censure – Exhibits Proof of Sincere Strides to Conquer Postwar Woes

MONROVIA – Many must have thought outgoing United States Ambassador Michael McCarthy had already left the country—an exit news that was well publicized—following his end of tenure until early this week when he released a scathing critique of both the Executive and Legislative branches of the Liberian government from rather cursory rounds he expressly made in the hinterland. Though the McCarthy outburst, coming on the heels of his departure and on the portals of a crucial election, is still a subject of debate, with some arguing it is ill-timed and undiplomatic, while others contend it is appropriate and necessary, the Government is not taking it lying down. In a measured riposte, the Government believes much is being done amid mounting challenges and that all is not as bad as the United States Ambassador may think. As The Analyst reports, the Government of Liberia statement is backed by critical social service expenditures in the last years.  

The Government of Liberia has issued a strong statement in response to a plethora of accusations made this week by outgoing United States Ambassador, Michael McCarthy.

The US diplomat put out a press statement essentially pointing to central government neglect of responsibility to provide critical social services, and also insinuating the pillage and evaporation of colossal amounts of budgetary allocations and foreign donor support towards to the social service sector.

The Michael statement has triggered huge public discussions, giving that fact it comes not when he is leaving having stayed in the country for nearly three years but also because this is elections year.

But the government has put up a well-articulated statement, signed by Information Minister Ledgerhood J. Rennie, first acknowledging the concerns raised by Mr. McCarthy in which he highlighted the state of some health and education centers in the rural parts of the country –  as well as efforts Liberia is making to decentralize development.

Responding, the Liberian Government refreshed the mind of the US diplomatic that Liberia continues to make significant progress since the end of the civil war, which tore the nation apart for more than a decade and sunk it further into poverty.

The Government statement states that in recent efforts, various Liberian government administrations, including Weah’s, critical infrastructures have been revived, as government has invested in health and education.

These afford, according to the statement, have gotten much acclaim from various bilateral and multilateral partners and have been accelerated in spite of global economic challenges which have slowed growth in many parts of the world. 

“While the government recognizes that there is always room for improvement, particularly in the allocation and disbursement of funds for essential services, the narrative as expressed by Ambassador McCarthy is inaccurate,” the press release further stressed. “Healthcare for instance, is one sector in which the government continues to expand its efforts to increase coverage in order to meet the needs of millions of Liberians, as well as hone the skills of service providers.”

The Liberian Government further reminded Mr. McCarthy that its commitment to healthcare was recently manifested by the conclusion of the 3rd International Symposium for Community Health Workers which was hosted in Monrovia and attended by hundreds of delegates from around the world.

“And for this, the government remains grateful for the goodwill and support it continues to receive from all development partners, including the U.S. government, without which this feat would not have been possible. The assistance has proven vital to the giant strides the country has made over the years,” the GoL press statement also said.

US$60 Million Insinuation

Regarding the outgoing US ambassador’s insinuation regarding some US$60 million being misused, the Government clarified that the U.S$60 million referenced by the Ambassador is not money coming entirely to the government of Liberia, as has understandably been skewed by politicians – with an eye on the upcoming elections. Only a small fraction in Government-to-Government support, which is disbursed only after proof of performance, goes to government.

The rest is expended through USAID’s own funding mechanisms – directly to a select project implementers.

The government emphasized it remains dedicated to investing in critical health infrastructure across the country as it builds clinics and hospitals, while also prioritizing human capital development. Liberia is therefore thankful to the U.S. government for its decision to complement the government’s efforts by constructing a National Reference Lab. 

The government has disbursed hundreds of thousands in Resettlement Action Plan to affected residents and can assure the Americans of Liberia’s full preparedness to run the facility when it is completed in a few years.

The Government informed Mr. McCarthy about various initiatives that are currently ongoing to train and retain healthcare professionals as a means of ensuring that all Liberians have access to quality healthcare services.

The support that claim, the Government said it was because of that commitment that President Weah, during his State of the Nation’s address, announced a revolving fund is also being set up to address the perennial problem of drug shortages at some facilities.

“Similar efforts are being made in the educational sector as the Weah administration strengthens the free and compulsory primary education initiative, as well as the improvement of school infrastructure and the training and support of teachers,” said the GoL reaction. “The government is also building new model schools and developing standard curriculums which have led to major improvements in students’ performance in WAEC/WASSE.”

Further, the Liberian government told McCarthy that it values the longstanding partnership it shares with the U.S., and believes that open communication between both governments is important to the sustenance of this historical tie.

Providing convincing proof about progress made in the sector, the Government said data from the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and validated by the Ministry of Health have been attached as proof of Cash Disbursement to Health Facilities Nationwide for Year Ended FY2022.

The statement said: “This provides much needed explanation on the spending and disbursement pattern to health facilities within districts, towns, and villages across the 15 political subdivisions of Liberia. The summary also provides key information and clarification on actual disbursements and the mode of disbursement to health centers and the reporting requirements in order to correct the assertions made in the Ambassador’s piece that no funding was reaching healthcare centers.”

Facts about Disbursement:

The Liberian government, to further back its commitment to improving the health sector and other social services, provided some disbursement facts:

Under FY2022, about US$7.2 million (Seven point two million United States Dollars)  was disbursed to more than 70 hospitals, clinics health centers across Liberia. This amount represent operational activities and EXCLUDES Salaries of employees, rent, drugs, and vaccines, which are provided by the Central Government through the National Budget or with assistance of Development Partners. 

This amount includes US$4.9million United States Dollars representing about 175 USD checks cashed out of the GoL Consolidated Revenue Account, and about LRD $350 million (three hundred fifty million Liberian Dollars) representing more than148 checks cashed out of the consolidated account for FY2022.

The health facilities include referral hospitals, hospitals, clinics, county health centers, etc. 

The disbursement report and analysis as attached show that some facilities received their operational support in both United States Dollars and Liberian Dollars while other received exclusively in Liberian dollar or United States Dollars

The top 10 receivers in the report accounts for about US$3.8 million  or 59 percent of the total US$7.2 million disbursed to the 70 plus health facilities across Liberia. The top 10 receivers include referral hospitals such Jackson F. Doe, CB Dunbar, Phebe hospital school of Medicine, Telleweyon John F. Kennedy Memorial, and Redemption hospital, etc.

The below table summarizes the disbursements of resources to health facilities referenced and discussed in the preceding paragraphs.

1 Comment
  1. Jacob Doe says

    A mentality such as Michael McCarthy should not be sent into foreign service. This is a man who after clearly failing to INCITE RIOTS WHILE ANNOUNCING HIS SELLING AND BUYING OF SANCTIONS AS REPORTED, and now a lame duck ambassador recalled, wants a post wartorn country (Liberia) to be plundged into the catastrophe which Sudan is at this moment suffering with hospitals in the capital of Khartoum been bombed in the war between the paramilitary and the Sudan Armed Forces.

    For example just imagine the road photograph he chose as if thats how the roads in Liberia are. And while these destructions and lost of innocent lives are been the reality, the oil companies are drilling their oil in Sudan as was the case in Liberia when the logging companies and Firestone were exploiting our resources on the cheap.

    McCarthy was appointed as long ago as when his boss Donald Trump stole his way to power. So according to Michael McCarthy, had him

    (1) not been recalled AND HAS BECOME A LAME DUCK , all that he is ranting now out of spite, and desperation as the result of his government tossing him out of his posting such as he is hypocritically and diabolically using as A PLOY would have

    (2) been non existent, just as his boss Donald Trump has been tossed out of office, and now been the only former US President ever indicted a first, second, third, and even a fourth time in multiple jurisdictions over myriad criminal charges.

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