The World Bank Provides $63 Million Grant
Monday, 9th August 2010

The World Bank and the Government of Liberia have signed a US$47 million additional financing grant for the Urban Infrastructure Rehabilitation Project. The additional grant closes the financing gap required to fully fund the rehabilitation of the reminder of the Monrovia-Buchanan corridor.
The forty seven million United States Dollars financing is drawn from two sources ,the Crisis Response Window and the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund(LRTF).US$20  Million of the amount is coming from the Crisis Response Window while the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund is providing US$27 million.
The LRTF,which is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank, currently gets its funds from the Governments of Germany,Sweden,Ireland,Norway,the United Kingdom as well as the World Bank.
The Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund provided the initial money for the rehabilitation of the 15 km road from Cotton Tree in Margibi County to Bokay Town in Grand Bassa County. That stretch of road is nearly completed.
At the sametime, the World Bank also on Thursday July 29, 2010 signed a US$ 16 million grant with the Liberian Government. The 16 million is intended to fund the Youth Employment Skills project. Six million of the amount is coming from the International Development Association (IDA) and the Crisis Response Window while the balance 10 million of the grant is from the Africa Catalytic Growth Fund.
The project will expand access of young and underprivileged Liberians to temporary employment programs and improve youth employment prospect in support of government’s response to the employment crisis.
Speaking during the signing ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance, World Bank Country Manager Dr. Ohene Owusu Nyanin said the additional monies will fund the remaining 66.5 km section of the road from Bokay Town to Buchanan.
Dr.Nyanin revealed it will take two years to complete the particular section of the road but assured, that when  finished it will be the completion of improvement on the 165 kilometer road from the Freeport of Monrovia to the Port in Buchanan.
The World Bank Country Manager asserted that the Bank will continue to support the government and people of Liberia in meeting the enormous task of rebuilding the Country.
Dr.Nyanin disclosed that the European Union will shortly begin providing financing to the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund. The LRTF is being managed by the World Bank Country Manager and Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan.
On the YES Project Dr.Nyanin said it will directly address issues of youth employment, income generation, and improved employability consistent with the government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) and the World Bank Country Assistance Strategy (CAS).  He said the PRS recognizes that the lack of immediate income opportunities and inadequate skills are key challenges in building the foundation for rapid, inclusive, and sustainable growth. “Providing skills to the displaced and marginalized is essential to sustain peace”, the World Bank Country Manager concluded.

In remarks Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan expressed thanks on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and the government and people of Liberia to the World Bank and to all Liberia’s partners that have been supporting development efforts. Minister Ngafuan said Liberia is at a critical juncture and as such government is impacting on the development challenges of the country through the poverty reduction strategy.
He named two key priorities in the strategy as road rehabilitation and employment creation. He revealed the signing of the two agreements with the World Bank is key step in attempting to address some of the challenges with regards to the two objectives of government.

Minister Ngafuan assured that government would collaborate with the World Bank and the contractor to ensure the road is speedily and professionally done. The Finance Minister in a strong tone warned Liberians to see the project as a Liberian project and to stop the usual habit of detaching themselves from these development initiatives.” these projects are not ADB,World Bank or European Union projects but they are Liberian projects so we must cherish them”, Minister Ngafuan said.
He informed Liberians that the projects are now even more Liberian in the post HIPC Environment because there wouldn’t be any free launch. “We’ve proven that we are men enough, that we can stand on our feet, our debt vulnerability is low and so some of these funding we received now that come from the crisis responds window and others will be grants but some of the funding we are going to receive going forward from the World Bank and others will be credits”. The Finance Minister remarked.

Minister Ngafuan thanked the Liberian people for their patience thus far and said the country had to engage in a lot of discipline to show our partners that change has come to Liberia and that the country has a responsible government. He attributed Liberia’s current success to the discipline that has been shown thus far and promised similar trend will continue going forward so that more assistance could come to the country.

On the Youth Employment Skills project, Minister Ngafuan said he trusts the ability of the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment to implement it to the fullest. He said he was looking forward to the outcome of the 45 thousand vulnerable persons that will get temporary employment over the next three years.
 Minister Ngafuan is of the conviction that youths in difficult condition in the remote parts of the country will smile and be able to improve on their poverty situation.



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