21 December 2012

Liberia Qualifies for Bigger Funding

Photo: Boakai Fofana/ allAfrica.com
Liberia Finance Minister Amara Konneh signs for a U.S.$15 million MCC grant in 2010.

Liberia is said to be Compact eligible, meaning the country can now receive new and larger funding package from the United States Government for development purposes, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). The MCC is the US institution dedicated to helping developing countries meeting the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs.

Liberia's Finance Minister Amara Konneh, who made the disclosure Thursday, said based on the eligibility, the country stands to benefit a substantial grant to support the recently launched 'Liberia Rising Vision 2030' plus a five-year development plan dubbed the Agenda For Transformation.

Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia, Minister Konneh said the pending increased financial support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation is based on efforts to strengthen government's institutions and policies to meet the needs of the people.

"Under our first three years arrangement with [the] MCC, which is called the Threshold Country Program (TCP), Liberia received US$15 Million to make critical reforms in the following three areas: to increase girls' primary education completion; improve land rights access and improve deed registry efficiency and Liberalizing trade and modernizing our customs practices for integration through trade", the Finance Boss added.

According to him, Liberia has a larger task to develop a comprehensive program for the COMPACT implementation that will determine its size within the MCC's budgetary limits, which focuses on national priorities, including infrastructures.

He noted that the government's plan for such undertaking includes a seven-month period in which an analysis of constraints to Liberia's economic growth and human development would be carried out; conduct public consultations on the needs, and build a framework for results focused implementation as well as define those projects to be undertake under the COMPACT program.

A press release from the United States Embassy here says this year's selection decision are a testament to the MCC's effect and ability to provide incentives for countries to adopt policy reforms and strengthen institutions to become eligible for MCC COMPACT.

The release added that types of reforms pursued by these countries range from new asset disclosure requirements in an effort to combat corruption in Liberia to the introduction of free access to maternal and child health care in Sierra Leone to a dramatic increase in environmental protection in Niger, respectively.

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