Tweah-led Delegation Brings Smiles to Liberia -Signs US$106 Development Financing Agreements

MONROVIA – As the George Weah administration hits its fifth anniversary in a few months, just a year before it seeks another term of office, it is leaving no stone unturned in harnessing its development credential. Because of the foregoing, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., and other key officials, are restlessly combing the both national and international resource streams not only to remain afloat amid grim global economic challenges but also to keep its promises to the people of Liberia. Fortunately for the administration, it seems Providence keeps smiling at it and luck continues to come its way. This time around, the hustle has paid off, as a delegation of Government attending the recent meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Washington D.C. bumped in a huge envelop for development financing, something destined to bolster its flagship development program, as The Analyst reports.

The delegation of Government which last week was attending an annual meeting of the World Bank in the United States capital Washington, D.C., is reporting singing three development financing agreements.

The delegation is headed by Finance and Development Planning Minister Samuel D. Tweah, Jr., with the other members being Agriculture Minister Jeanie Cooper, and her aide Ansu Sonii, and Minister of Gender and Children Protection Piso Sayde-Tarr.

The meeting facilitated by the World Bank Country Director to Liberia, Khwima Nthara was witnessed also by the Director of the National Fisheries and the Deputy Ministers for Economic Management and Budget and Development Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Hon. Augustus Flomo and Madam Tanneh Bronson.

According to a dispatch from the delegation, on the eve of the Annual Meetings taking place in Washington DC, the Government of Liberia received another big push in development financing from the Bretton Woods Institutions.

On Friday, 14 October, Finance and Development Planning Minister signed for the government of Liberia, while the director for Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, Mr. Pierre Laporte signed for the World Bank.

The development financing is supportive of the achievements of the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), the Country’s national development plan.

Of the World Bank’s Third Inclusive Growth Development Policy Operation to Liberia, 52, 30, and 18 percent will go toward budget support, additional finance to the health sector and additional finance to the Fishery sector respectively.

According to the release, resources allotted to budget support will help remove some of the distortions in selected sectors by strengthening public sector transparency and promoting economic and inclusive growth. Like other Sub-Saharan countries, Liberia too is facing the backlashes of the global shocks.

Developed and developing countries continue to suffer from the vestiges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and the recent OPEC+ decision to reduce the production of oil by 2 million barrels per day.

The effects of these shocks have led to increase in prices of fuel, rice, fertilizers, and other demand driven commodities. Responses by African Governments through subsidies have only had temporal and not sustainable effects. The effective utilization of the World Bank budget support as expected will address some of these economic blockades amid rising inflation and supply chain hurdles.

Support to the health sector will focus on improving health service delivery to women, children, and adolescents. Under the framework of Institutional Foundations to Improve Services for Health Projects (IFISH), it is expected that the project will build upon ongoing quality improvement and resilience building activities. The project is both a credit from the International Development Assistance (IDA) and a grant from the Global Financing Facility (GFF).

The $20 million funding to the Fishery sector which comes from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is geared towards supporting the sustainable management of the Fisheries sector in the Country while enhancing the livelihood and income of the project beneficiaries. The project will focus on improving management and governance of fisheries, improving value addition to fish and fish products as well as support to aquaculture development management

Minister Tweah, on behalf of President Weah, thanked the World Bank for its continuous engagements and support to Liberia national development priorities. He pointed out that the government of Liberia through the leadership of President George Weah was making significant strides in addressing some of the country’s development bottlenecks.

There is still a need for more support in terms of training, capacity building and providing equipment for hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure, especially in rural Liberia.

“Our impending challenge will be to mobilize additional compensation for health workers including nurses and midwives at newly constructed and hospitals under constructions in Rivercess, Maryland, Gbarpolu and other counties,” minister Tweah noted.

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