Liberia, USAID Sign US$640M Grant Agreement
MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia and USAID, on Friday May 22, 2020, signed Six Hundred-forty million United States Dollars ($640M), Development Objective Grant Agreement (DOAG).
The agreement is intended to foster self-Reliance by spurring private sector led economic expansion through a focus on catalyzing reforms and cultivating a healthy, productive and educated workforce.
The agreement is a five years’ program that runs from 2019 to 2024 with three (3) bilateral Development Objective Assistance Agreements namely Market-driven, inclusive economic growth supporting increased job creation; Effective and inclusive governance catalyzed through reforms and greater accountability and Foundation for growth strengthened through a healthy, productive, and educated population.
It commits the US government through USAID to provide funds in grant to support the GoL’s national development priorities.
The Development Objectives of this agreement is aligned directly with three of the four pillars of the GOL’s 2018 Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD), and strongly supports the fourth pillar.
Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel D. Tweah, Jr. who represented the Government, lauded the Government and People of the United States for the development assistance provided to the People of Liberia under the agreement.
He said the “Government of Liberia was committed to instituting the necessary reforms to ensure the achievement of the development objectives set forth in the Agreement.”
Minister Tweah also acknowledged pivotal roles the US Government has played during Liberia war and post conflict era, and other economic shocks the country has faced.
He termed the signing as a “milestone event” especially with the presence of COVID 19, the second shock the government was facing since its ascendency.
He urged USAID that the signing should be inform by post conflict consideration. He noted that it was important for the two parties to work together and to cooperate on delivering the PAPD plan in transformative manner.
According to him, the country was challenged regarding liquidity problem, and is grateful that the USAID is advising the Central Bank on the printing of new currency.
Liberia macroeconomic framework with the IMF though budget support so that COVID 19 does not derail the country from its macroeconomic performance was strong.
“You know we are into the IMF program, and the review is coming up, and we have ensured that our macroeconomic performance remains strong, despite the liquidity and other issues we have” Minister Tweah said.
Explaining further, Minister Tweah said there is transparency on the fiscal and monetary side of the economy, while better macroeconomic framework, better policies, liquidity management, interest base framework were held steady.
For her part, USAID Liberia Mission Director, Sara Walter, noted the collaborative effort to purposefully align USAID’s development strategy with the broad pillars of the Government of Liberia’s signature development plan, the Pro Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development.
She added that “the assistance provided under the Agreement is a concrete manifestation of the importance the United States attaches to its special and enduring relationship with Liberia.”
The Development Objective (DO), 1 aligned with Pillar II— Economy and Jobs: creating more and better-quality jobs that are germane to sustaining the peace and future economic growth. DO 2 aligned with Pillar IV— Governance and Transparency: effective implementation of policies and strategies that will ensure the participation of the entire citizenry in decision-making and empowers all groups. The achievement of this goal hinges on major governance reforms in political and economic arenas.
While DO 3 aligned with Pillar I— Power to the People: empowering people with the wherewithal to take control of their lives by providing access to quality education, ensuring access to essential healthcare and increasing opportunities to attain a decent standard of living. Additionally, the three DOs’ overarching focus on civil society and citizen engagement supports empowering people. All three DOs will enhance Pillar III, which is sustaining the Peace: promoting a peaceful, unified society that enables economic transformation and sustainable development.