World Bank, Government of Liberia Sign US$15.8M Agreement


Monrovia – The World Bank and the Government of Liberia on Monday September signed a US$15.8M financing agreement for the project title “Liberia Social Safety Nets”.

Report by Edwin Genoway, Jr. – [email protected]

Larisa Leshchenko World Bank Liberia Country Manager signed for the bank, while Minister Boima Kamara Ministry of Finance and Development Planning signed for the Government of Liberia.

The Liberia Social Safety Nets project, according to the Bank, will benefit extremely poor and food insecure households in the country. Madam Larisa Leshchenko recalled that prior to 2014, Liberia made significant progress in stimulating economic growth, reducing poverty and improving service delivery to the most vulnerable.

She stated that gains made over those years by Liberia were negatively impacted by the Ebola Virus Disease, adding that the EVD outbreak demonstrated the need for Liberia to put in place a robust social protection system that can be used to reach the extreme poor in times of emergency.

Country Manager Leshchenko said at the signing ceremony that Liberia Social Safety Nets Project is being financed through a US$10M credit from the World Bank.

The project she noted will not only deliver cash transfers, but will also implement accompanying measures aimed at promoting the growing of quick and high yielding nutritious food through home gardening.

The Bank Country Manager also lauded the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) for committing to co-finance the project with an additional grant of at least US$5.8M, which she said would bring total financing for the project to US$15.8M.

She added that the collaboration with USAID would go a long way in strengthening social protection systems in Liberia.  

The project will also provide support for increasing awareness on improved nutrition among targeted households to improve consumption and invest in the human development of their families, particularly young children as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.  

The project implementation will be carried out by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection in collaboration with the ministries of Health and Agriculture as well as district officials.

For his part, Minister of Finance and Development Planning Boima Kamara said the signing of the agreement was a significant step in addressing social protection that went to the heart of how the incidents of poverty and hunger were being addressed.

Minister Kamara said the agreement demonstrated the Government of Liberia’s interest in addressing issues of poverty and hunger and how the vulnerable could be reached in the society.

However, he expressed the need for strengthening of the existing collaboration for the sustainability of nutritional healthcare of the people, stressing that government had also committed itself to issues of such.

Speaking earlier, Merryn Farroe USAID Deputy Director said his organization’s involvement in the project began in 2015 when they sought ways how to identify to the Ebola response in the country and how to awaken the social protection in a different ways due to Washington’s involvement through the Food for Peace Program in Liberia.

Farroe stated that research had indicated expressed needs to invest in the system that would support social protection for Ebola response as well as in the case of future outbreak. He further noted that USAID mission statement speaks to ending extreme poverty and partnering with organization to end poverty.

Mr. Farroe said the grant from USAID was an opportunity for Liberia to explore in great depth the potential for social protection and strengthening safety.