14 November 2012

Liberia Qualifies for MCA Compact Funding

Photo: Tami Hultman/allAfrica.com
Properly managed, Liberia's extensive natural resources can produce jobs, like the 500 created when ArcelorMittal reopened iron ore mines last year with a $1.5 billion investment.

Liberia has met the eligibility requirements and would be considered for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) compact funding, which is acknowledged by the United States Government as a result of tremendous progress made by Liberia.

In July 2010, the government and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a US$15 million Threshold Program grant agreement to improve land rights and increase girls' primary enrollment, retention and also improve Liberia's trade policy and practices.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Finance Minister Amara Konneh said this is the first time for Liberia to pass such a monumental milestone since the US government MCC fund was established in 2004.

Minister Konneh said the program, implemented by the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID), sought diligently to improve Liberia's performance on several key policy indicators that tracked progress on specified programs through relevant line entities in government.

"Meeting the eligibility requirements for compact considerations, which positioned Liberia for more development funding, is an historic landmark that shows the level of success so far; it would be considered for eligibility compact, a government must be seen to rule justly, invest in its people, and encourage economic freedom," Konneh told reporters.

He continued: "Therefore, the entire government has worked together to get Liberia to this point. Thus, achievement was reached through the efforts of government ministries as well as various agencies and institutions put in place to make progress in key sectors."

Minister Konneh, flanked by other senior ministers narrated that institutions such as the Liberia Business Registry, Land Commission and the Center for National Documents and Records Agency made significant contributions in achieving the MCA consideration.

"My colleagues who head these institutions are here with us today. In this public manner, I want to congratulate each of them for the passion with which they undertake their roles in Liberia's development process, and for their contribution to successful Threshold program for Liberia," Minister acknowledged.

However, despite the achievement, Minister Konneh indicated that the government must continue to strive to be effective as possible to fight corruption more forcefully than ever, and uphold the rule of law, noting "We need to continue our efforts to immunize our children and invest in their education and provide them the opportunity to have a bright future. Minister Konneh: "The Government of Liberia is committed to moving ahead to improve the standard of living and quality of life for all Liberians, and government has outlined plans to achieve that goal in the Agenda for Transformation (AfT).

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