On Friday, July 19, 2019 the Government of Liberia, represented by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the World Bank signed a financing agreement in the tone of US$77 million, which will strengthen the Bank's support toward the educational sector and improve the supply of water in Monrovia and its surroundings.
Of the amount, US$47 million of the International Development Association (IDA) grant agreement will be used to Improve Result In Secondary Education (IRISE) project, US$24.74 million additional IDA credit for Liberia Urban Water Supply project (UWSP); and US$5.26 million in grant also to the UWSP.
At a signing ceremony in Monrovia, the World Bank's country director, Pierre Laporte, said the IRISE project was important, because it will contribute to improve Liberia's human capital base, which is critical to the development of the country.
Laporte said that secondary education not only enables individuals to further enhance their learning, but it also makes them more productive, and increases more qualified labor to better meet the growing needs of the modern-day labor market.
"I am glad that the World Bank is among the partners, who support the government investing in this important area of the education sector," Laporte added.
The IRISE project, he said will take a system-based approach to address some fundamental issues and challenges facing the secondary level of education.
Mr. Laporte said the project would also focus more on improving the quality of secondary education services; increasing accessibility to and completion of secondary education, especially for adolescent girls.
"We already have under the implementation the Global Partnership for Education investment grant, and the Bank is supporting advisory and policy studies to strengthen the sector. I am very encouraged to see more donor investment in education in Liberia," he said.
Laporte said that the World Bank funded the project to further provide the foundation to enable young people to further their professional careers.
He said that that the World Bank is committed to further supporting the human development agenda set out by the government's Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD) for Liberia's socioeconomic advancement.
"Additional financing will help address the critical need for the provision of adequate and safe water supply. It is aligned with the PAPD and calls for an increase in households, institutions and communities that have access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities," Laporte added.
The new funding, according to him, will complement the original project by restructuring the current transmission and distribution system to improve the conveyance of water by the main transmission line towards central Monrovia's main reservoirs, and increase the storage capacity in Paynesville areas. It will also increase access and enhance the quality and quantity of the water supply service to existing customers.
Education Minister Ansu Sonii, said the grant would bring about transformation to the country's education sector, such that over 3,000 girls from grades 9-12 will have the opportunity to remain in school.
Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation managing director, Duannah Kamara, expressed gratitude for the opportunity. He said the amount provided by the World Bank would help boost its activities by meeting the demand of water supply to the public.
Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah, also used the occasion to thank the World Bank Country Director for the level of support rendered to the Liberian government over the years.
Minister Tweah informed Mr. Laporte that since the government of President George Weah came to power, the World Bank through its outgoing Country Manager, Ms. Larisa Leshchenko, contributed immensely to the growth and development of Liberia.