9 February 2016

Liberia: EU Provides U.S.$22 Million Budgetary Support

The European Union Ambassador to Liberia Tiina Intelmann has disclosed that US$22M or Euros 20M has been provided as extra budgetary support to the Government of Liberia.

The support is part of US$34 million grant to EU's ongoing budget support program.

Ambassador Intelmann said the EU's decision to increase its budget support is in response to Liberia's request. She said the European Union recognizes that Liberia's public finances are under severe strain; therefore, it is important for additional support to be given.

"The European Union recognizes that Liberia's public finances are under severe strain; while this additional support will not prevent the need for budget cuts, we hope it will contribute to achieving the government's agreed objectives under the program; improved economic governance; micro-economic stability; provision and accountability of health, justice and security services, particularly in light of the additional costs associated with the preparation for UNMIL drawdown," Ambassador Intelmann indicated.

The EU envoy also urged the Government of Liberia to undertake initiatives to meet all agreed conditions and sector indicators so that all of the foreseen amounts can be paid into the budget.

She hoped that the Legislature can act swiftly to pass associated legislation. As part of the increase in EU's funding, two further budget support payments are foreseen in the amount of Euros 20M or US$ 22M for 2016 and Euros 11M or US$ 13M in 2017.

For his part, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh said the commodity price shock was affecting the economy.

According to Minister Konneh, the Government is contemplating using the energy program to diversify the economy through agriculture and manufacturing services.

He expressed the need for economic stimulation and said it is essential to keep the economy moving.

He assured the EU envoy of Government's commitment in meeting all triggers as specified by the EU so that the support to the budget can be realized.


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