20 December 2013

Liberia Re-Selected for Compact Funding

Photo: Liberia Government
The U.S. delegation to the Partnership Dialogue meets President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Liberia has been re-selected to receive funding from the United States of America (USA) under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact.

The MCC is an innovative and independent United States foreign assistance agency that is helping to lead the fight against poverty.

It was created by the U.S Congress in 2004. The MCC forms partnerships with some of the world's poorest countries. It provides countries that are well-performing in the areas of good governance, economic freedom and investment in their citizens a large-scale grant to find solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth.

It can be recalled that last year, Liberia, Niger, Sierra Leone, Morocco and Tanzania were selected to benefit from the MCC grant.

Making the disclosure of Liberia's re-selection on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at a news conference held at the Ministry of Finance in Monrovia, the MCC's Vice President for Africa, Mr. Jonathan Bloom, said Liberia is making progress in its economic reconstruction process under the leadership of Finance Minister, Amara M. Konneh.

He recalled that Liberia was selected in 2012 for the Compact Funding due to efforts made by its government towards achieving the MCC's indicators.

But he was quick to point out that Liberia has not yet achieved in total the 20 indicators of the MCC.

Mr. Bloom stated that Liberia was re-selected to continue its Compact Development by the Board of Directors of the MCC, but the country now needs to meet the "scorecard" of the MCC to improve.

He urged the Government of Liberia (GOL) to put in place "sound investment programs" that will help to accelerate economic growth and help reduce poverty in Liberia.

This, he maintained, must be done to "achieve the aspirations of the Liberian people."

Also speaking, Finance Minister Amara Konneh reaffirmed the Liberian government continuous effort to achieving the indicators of the MCC.

He said Liberia will continue to improve its efforts to meeting the MCC Compact of the US government.

He stated that significant progress has been made by the government in the development of its MCC Compact proposals.

Min. Konneh pointed out that the GOL has developed an action plan named and styled, "Liberia Constraints Analysis" which according to him, will "strategically guide the government's intervention to improve in all 20 MCC indicators next year."

He, however, admitted that the fight against corruption remains a major challenge towards maintaining good governance in the country.

"We have completed the constraints and root cause analysis as well as a series of national consultations on the findings of this analysis.

It tells us what the issues are as it relates to the Liberian economy and the things that we must invest in so that we can grow the economy for the benefit of all Liberians.

Using this tool, we will be able to develop programs and interventions that will emphatically improve the economy. We need to invest in economic infrastructure so that we can expand it," he stated.

According to him, the Liberian government has also taken significant steps to safeguard its natural resources making specific reference to the Forestry Development Authority (FDA).

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