4 July 2013

Liberia: World Bank Gives U.S.$50 Million to Liberia

The Government of Liberia, represented by the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank on Wednesday signed two financing credit agreements totally US$45million to support the Government of Liberia's new strategy to expand electricity coverage by 2030, as well as improve maternal health, child health and infectious disease services in Liberia.

The World Bank's Board also approved a complementary US$5 million grant from the Health Results Innovation Trust Fund (HRITF) to improve the quality of health services at seven selected hospitals, serving well over a million people in Liberia.

While Liberia has significantly reduced mortality among mothers and young children in recent years, serious threats to life remain, including weak quality of care in areas such as obstetric services and malaria diagnosis and treatment.

The Liberia Health Systems Strengthening project will help improve the quality of maternal and child health care at the selected hospitals using a results-based approach that has worked well in other countries such as Rwanda and Burundi. It will help ensure that poor people have greater access to qualified specialist physicians and skilled health workers who can provide lifesaving obstetric, pediatric and surgical care and greatly improved infectious disease services.

Liberia's Finance Minister Amara Konneh, during the signing ceremony at the Ministry said the financing agreements are part of the Bank's contributions toward the realization of the agenda for transformation in the areas of economic and human development.

He disclosed the agreement will also support the expansion of the transmission and distribution grids that will provide access to electricity beyond Monrovia.Minister Konneh noted that the agreement will support the training of doctors and building capacity in the health sector that will bring about significant improvement in the sector.

World Bank Liberia Country Manager Inguna Dobraja said, "Both projects are crucial towards supporting the Liberian Government's Agenda for Transformation and addressing the country's medium-term development priorities." Ms. Dobraja added that the Bank will continue to support the Government's transformational development agenda in pursuing sustainable and inclusive economic growth that will benefit all Liberians.

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