Sunday, May 24, 2009

ADB DONATES TO LIBERIA

ADB Earmarks Liberia US$ 45 Million
By Bill E. Diggs

The Africa Development Bank (ADB) has given the Liberian Government approximately US$ 45 million out of which about US$ 18 million is directed toward budgetary support of this calendar year.
The fund was given at the annual meetings focused on the financial crisis and Africa’s response, held in Dakar during the second week of May, where Augustine Ngafuan, Minister of Finance, and Amara Konneh, minister of Planning and Economic Affairs represented the Liberian Government.
A number of additional events occurred during the week, debt reduction and rescheduling with the European Investment Bank (EIB), which canceled over 8 million euro of long-standing debt was inclusive.
Speaking for the Liberian delegation at the meeting, Minister Ngafuan thanked the ADB for their assistance and further stressed that given Liberia’s borrowing constraints, there are few alternatives to a downturn in revenue other than streamlining spending and focusing on expenditure efficiency.
An Agriculture Rehabilitation support project grant with the ADB value approximately US$ 9 million was signed by the Liberian Government delegates as part of a project whose total value is approximately US$ 27 million, including co-financing by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
According to the grant the six years project will focus on agricultural infrastructure rehabilitation, agricultural production and productivity improvement, and project management.
the project is basically focus on the south-eastern region including Grand Kru, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland counties with specific activities including rehabilitation of water management infrastructure for 1,620 hectares, rehabilitating 100km of feeder roads, increasing crop productivity through integrated plan and pest management, provision of farm implement in the mention counties; and a long-term technical assistance for the ministry of agricultural.
In addition to its direct value to agricultural producers, particularly those in the southeast, this project will also build the capacity of the ministry of agricultural to carry forward work in this critical sector.
The ADB approved this week a US$ 1 million grant in response to the resent caterpillar worm infestation; this response, implemented by Africare, will focus on crop protection, improving water supply and sanitation, and communication and sensitization workshop in affected area.
The Government of Liberia held conversations with ADB staff responsible for Liberia, including Donald Kaberruka, president of the African Development Bank. Matter discussed in the conversation included Liberia’s rapid reform and progress toward the completion point of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative, GoL’s strong desire for the ADB to open office in Liberia, and future mechanisms via which the ADB may be able to support Liberia’s reconstruction, reform, and development.

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