Last week, the Government of Liberia received a grant of EUR 10 million (USD 11.2 million) from the European Union (EU). The EU disbursed the money directly into the treasury account of the Government to support the budget of the Republic of Liberia. This is the third payment under the EU's budget support programme after a first payment of EUR 29.2 million (USD 33 million) in 2015 and EUR 16 million (USD 18 million) in 2016.
Disbursement of the third payment comes after the Government of Liberia made satisfactory progress in improving public financial management and toward specific targets relating to security and rule of law in line with the Agenda for Transformation, Liberia's medium-term development strategy. Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, said:
"The EU gives this 10 million euro expecting that the Government will use it to provide Liberians with the vital public services they deserve and it has committed to provide: health, education, security and rule of law. I encourage the Government to continue improving the management of public finances and fight against corruption. In particular, I applaud the operationalisation of four pilot county treasuries, the establishment of a Civilian Complaints Board for the police and immigration services and improved access to justice through magistrates' courts and county courts for cases related to sexual and gender based violence. I encourage Government and the Judiciary to continue their efforts to better plan procurement for entities in the security and rule of law sector and to ensure that spending takes place as planned."
The European Union withheld EUR 2 million due to the Government of Liberia's failure or partial failure to meet indicators related to the timely publication of procurement plans for the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary and spending less money than planned through entities in the security and rule of law sector.