The Informer (Monrovia)

21 December 2012

Liberia Gets Big U.S. Aid

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

Liberia is among several other African countries that have been selected for the United States (US) Compacts and Threshold Program.

Under the program, Liberia will develop a multi-million dollar proposal to implement projects and programs that will be funded by the US Government.

The selection of Liberia was done at a meeting on Wednesday by the US Government's Millennium Challenges Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors in Washington, D.C.

Liberia, Niger, Sierra Lone, Morocco and Tanzania have qualified as eligible to develop proposals for new compacts.

According to the US Ambassador, Debora Malac, Liberia Niger and Sierra Leone were selected to due to several years of hard work to meet MCC's rigorous eligibility standards.

A statement issued from the US Embassy said "these countries, like others selected as compact eligible, will need to compete for scarce budget resources by maintaining a strong commitment to democratic and economic governance and by developing high-quality, timely compact proposals to promote growth and reduce poverty."

Finance Minister, Amara Konneh who spoke on behalf of the Liberian Government yesterday at the Ministry of Information Press Briefing, thanked the Government and people of US for selecting Liberia for the Compacts program.

Minister Konneh: "Based on our eligibility, Liberia stands to receive a substantial grant to support our recently launched Liberia Rising 2030 Vision and five-year development plan, the Agenda for Transformation."

He said the increase in support that Liberia stands to gain from the MCC is as a result of the government's efforts to strengthen its institutions and policies to meet the needs of the Liberian people.

Outlining achievements from the first three-year Threshold Country Program (TCP) through which Liberia received US$15 million, Minister Konneh said " as a result of the support we received from our American partners under the TCP, a segment of our female student population now has access to education through the Girls' Opportunity to Access Learning (GOAL) initiative, which was rolled out in Bong Lofa Grand Bassa Counties. Government is providing scholarships to girls; teaching kits for teachers; and support to increased community involvement in girls' education, just to name a few interventions."

Minister Konneh also said that the TCP program has made them to understand some of complex issues surrounding land issues in Liberia. "And we are closer to establishing a land governance framework that will support the government in addressing the contentions around land in Liberia.

The MCC is an independent U.S foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty.

It was created by the US Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support. MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart US foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results.

Before a country becomes eligible to receive assistance, MCC's Board Examines its performance on independent and transparent policy indicators and selects compact-eligible countries based on policy performance.

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