IBLL announces LRD$285,000 for students’ vacation programs

The International Bank Liberia Limited (IBLL) has announced LRD$285,000 in support of students’ vacation programs. According to a press statement issued in Monrovia, International Bank (Liberia) Limited is proud to sponsor two vacation programs that cater to students with a combined total of LRD$285,000.00 in support of training and feeding of the students.

The programs being supported are administered by St. Thomas Episcopal Church on Camp Johnson Road which received LRD$125,000.00 and Calvary Empowerment Team in Chugbor, Old Road which received LRD$160,000.00.

The press statement under the signature of Corporate Communication Officer Julius Jeh highlights the significance of keeping students engaged with skills enhancing and life building, extra-curricular activities during the vacation period.

The release says IBLL believes in community centered programs that enhance citizenry and promote principles in line with the company’s values of trust, reliability, integrity, teamwork and excellence.

It says while the vacation period is a time for rest from scholarly activities, it is also beneficial to ensure students are introduced to other skills that will foster career development and make them well-rounded individuals.

IBLL also notes that keeping students engaged during this period also keeps them away from harmful practices that could occupy their minds in idleness.The St. Thomas Episcopal Church is training about 68 students with vocational skills including arts and craft, tailoring, music, home economics and mentoring them in business and good citizenship.

The Calvary Empowerment Team is an organization that trains students in music, culture, home economics and basketball at the Tubman High School on 12th Street, Sinkor and the Effort Baptist School in Paynesville.

They are currently training 90, and both programs run from July to August and have been of significant impact to the beneficiaries. IBLL says it is proud to be contributing to the full development of future competent citizens while calling on more groups to get involved with organizing and supporting such initiatives for young people.--Press release

Ecobank donates to SOS Liberia

Ecobank Liberia has donated 10 water dispensers and 75 Cartoons of water treatment or water guards to the SOS Medical Center in oldest Congo Town, outside Monrovia.

Speaking before the donation on Saturday, 13 January ECOBank Liberia Managing Director Mr. George Mensah-Asante says while the bank’s focus is very much on transforming African banking landscape, and servicing customers with convenient cost-effective financial products it also cares very much about local communities here.

He says with the thought of giving back, in 2013 the bank launched “a ECOBANK DAY initiative” that enables employees to come together to
help a worthy cause thru volunteering their time to work with community members. 

Mr. Mensah-Asante notes that the initiative is also geared toward supporting financial contributions by the Bank to improve living conditions of more vulnerable residents of communities. The ECOBANK Boss says the day is celebrated in 33 African Countries, including Liberia where the Pan African bank has presence.

‘Over the years we have supported many worthy causes, but our relationship with the SOS Medical Center has been very cordial and outstanding”, Mr. Asante acknowledges. He points out that the Medical Center treats up to over 222,000 patients yearly, providing basic health care and treatment, including electrocardiography, ultrasound, vaccination services and other preventive measures, as well as awareness campaign to many who could not otherwise afford these services.

He indicates that the Medical Center applies tremendous effort to alleviant some of the stress on other clinics specifically, during the Ebola outbreak, adding that for this and other many reasons, the Bank chose to mark its “5th ECONBANK DAY” with the SOS family.

.Receiving the items, the Medical Director of the SOS Children Village Medical Center, Dr. James A. Lewis, lauds ECOBANK for the
donation and promises that it will be wisely used for its intended purpose.

He notes that the Village is currently involved in building families for children in need, and helping them shape their futures, while sharing in the development of their communities.

He emphasizes that these are core beliefs and attitudes on which SOS has been built, and they are the cornerstones of its success, disclosing that the Medical Center, established in 2003, needs partners’ help in its ongoing community outreach programs.

SOS Children’s Villages Liberia is a member of the SOS Children‘s Villages International Federation. It started operations in Liberia on January 1, 1981 following an agreement between the Government of Liberia and SOS Children’s Villages International.

The organization, which was founded by Hermann Gmeiner in 1949 in Austria, is one of the world’s leading charities are solely dedicated to helping children around the world. The first Children’s Village in Liberia was opened in Monrovia, Montserrado County.

In an effort to reach more children, the second Children’s Village here was constructed in Juah Town, Grand Bassa County.

AfDB and WWF agree to focus on conservation, energy and agriculture

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) have announced a new three-year partnership agreement. The agreement comes on the heels of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (2014-2017) in which the two organizations committed to deliver major eco-conservation programmes for Africa.

Commenting on the extended agreement, Frederick Kwame Kumah, WWF Africa Regional Director, said, “This is clear sign of total confidence and mutual recognition of both institutions.” This shows appreciation of WWF’s added value in the partnership with the leading financial institution in Africa and one of the most respected multilateral development banks. He added.

Kumah said the two institutions’ three-year work plan will include, intensifying collaboration on the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa and how to make it work to Light up and power Africa. “This will see us collaborate on the link between energy and the impact on natural systems like forests and the impact of increasing fuel needs and cooking stoves in rural areas,” Kumah added.

In addition, WWF will engage in agriculture and productive landscapes and sustainable palm oil; as well as sustainable infrastructure development and growth corridors in Africa and the role of wildlife and potential of ecotourism for Africa in recognition of the challenge that the illegal wildlife trade poses.

WWF and AfDB signed the initial MoU on 21 July 2011, which provided for a broad range of cooperation around green growth and sustainable development in Africa. The MoU was renewed in 2014 at the African Development Bank’s Annual Meetings in Morocco with a provision to host a WWF staff at the Bank’s head office in Abidjan. The renewed MoU contains the same provisions.

Six years of formal partnership has seen the AfDB and the WWF collaborate on the production of two knowledge products namely Africa Ecological Footprint and Africa Ecological Futures. The two institutions have equally collaborated on climate change; South-South cooperation; and fighting illegal wildlife trafficking, which saw the adoption of the Marrakech Declaration and discussions on the issues at the highest level at the UN General Assembly in New York.

AfDB Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry Chiji Ojukwu applauded the renewed partnership, stating, “The Bank considers WWF a treasured partner as we pursue mainstreaming our green growth objectives within the High 5s.”-Press release

Sweden, Mercy Corps sign US$5.8m agreement

The Embassy of Sweden Monrovia and Mercy Corps have signed an agreement of about US$5.8m aiming at empowering the young people of Liberia through a program which comes in phase three of Promoting Sustainable Partnerships for Economic Transformation (Prospects).

Mercy Corps Country Director Mr. Douglas Copper and Swedish Embassy Charge d’ affaires Ms. Elisabeth Harleman signed on behalf of their respective institutions on Tuesday, 26 September at Mercy Corps office on 15th Street, Sinkor, suburb of Monrovia.
During the signing attended by representatives from Liberian ministries including Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Labor, the Sweden Embassy official Ms. Harleman said her Embassy has taken a decision to support the program with 46 million Swedish Kronor or about US$5.8m.
Ms. Harleman reveals that the aims of the support are to contribute to increased youth employment, work to improve the skills and confidence of 16,500 youth to seek economic opportunities and provide 1,302 young men and women on - the - job training and access to employment information to improve their employment chances.
She says the program expected to be implemented in Montserrado, Bong and Nimba Counties for the coming three years through Prospects phase three builds on previous two phases of the program which reached about 12,000 young men and women.
“The primary objectives [are] to support young Liberian men and women to find employment or become entrepreneurs; to support innovations for youth employment by tapping into private sector creativity and ability to create employment for young people,” she says.

Included in the objectives of supporting Prospects phase three are to support results, learning, and research around youth employment issues in ways that contribute to national policy changes and greater coordination between youth stakeholders.
Mercy Corps Country Director Douglas Cooper expressed thanks to Ms. Harleman and the Sweden Embassy for the support and their interest to sign the agreement aimed at empowering the youth of Liberia.
Prospects Program Manager Mr. Nyema Richards says he is proud of the significant impact Prospects is making nationally, particularly taking into account the empowerment of young people, some of whom work in government institutions after being provided job - ready skills.

Mr. Richards says as a Liberian, he and his team of workers at Prospects are proud of the work the institution is doing here in helping young Liberians in the next step in their lives in line with what government has been trying to do through its Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS).

By Winston W. Parley

Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire sign eight cooperation agreements

Relations between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire have reached new heights with the revival of the Joint Commission and the signing of several cooperation agreements aimed at strengthening bilateral relations and cooperation between both countries.

A Foreign Ministry release said, the three-day technical working sessions between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire climaxed Wednesday, August 30, with the signing of eight Cooperation Agreements and a Joint Communiqué by Liberia’s Foreign Minister, Her Excellency Ms. Marjon V. Kamara and Côte d’Ivoire’s Foreign Minister, His Excellency Mr. Marcel Amon Tanoh on behalf of their respective countries. The signing ceremony took place in the Foreign Ministry’s C. Cecil Dennis, Jr. Auditorium.

Other agreements signed included: Revised Agreement on the Joint Commission; Technical, Vocational and Educational Training; Sanitation and Urban Development; Agriculture; Fishery, Livestock Farming and Aquaculture; Forest and Wildlife; Production, Transportation and Energy Supply; and Submission to the Commission of Limits of the Continental Shelf.

Liberian Institutions involved included the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Lands, Mines and Energy, Agriculture, Public Works, Youth and Sports and Education. Others were the Liberia Maritime Authority and the Liberia Electricity Corporation.

The two foreign ministers acknowledged the privileged nature and exceptional quality of the bonds of friendship and solidarity that unite their countries. They also welcomed the commitment of their Governments to the peace ideals, justice and progress shared by their countries.

They reaffirmed their common desire to further consolidate their various consultations, at the image of the excellent relations of fraternity and friendship shared by their two Heads of State.
Foreign Ministers Kamara and Amon Tanoh also welcomed the establishment of the Joint Council of Traditional Leaders and Elders of the border area of Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire whose resolutions from the Zwedru and Guiglo meetings contributed to consolidate social cohesion and peace in this border area. They also recommended the effective implementation of the various resolutions adopted during these conclaves.

When Foreign Minister Amon Tanoh arrived in the country on Tuesday, August 29, he was received in audience by Her Excellency Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia, to whom he conveyed a message of friendship and appreciation from His Excellency Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.

While expressing their solidarity with the people of Sierra Leone deeply mourned by mudslides, the two foreign ministers strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Africa and elsewhere in the world, notably in Ouagadougou and Barcelona in the Joint Communiqué.
After they had affixed their signatures to the eight agreements, His Excellency Mr. Amon Tanoh, speaking through an English interpreter, expressed his genuine satisfaction for the holding of the Joint Commission Meeting.

“With this session, we have demonstrated through concrete action, the strong commitment of their Excellencies, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Mr. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic Côte d’Ivoire, to enhance the cooperation between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire,” he said.

Thanking Foreign Minister Kamara for fully participating in the Joint Commission Meeting, he added that Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia share not only their membership in ECOWAS and Mano River Union, but also a common destiny and ideals.

“Moreover, the necessity of jointly addressing challenges that our two States face within their development projects, it behooves upon us to act, more than ever before, in a perfect synergy of actions. That is why, I am particularly pleased with the undertakings we have just made, which offer us happy opportunities to work together in line with the desire to strengthen our bilateral cooperation as expressed by our two Heads of State.

“I also note, with satisfaction, the review of the Agreement establishing our Joint Commission. This testifies to the new momentum of our two Governments to inscribe the Ivorian-Liberian cooperation into new dynamics,” Ivorian Foreign Minister Amon Tanoh added.

He used the occasion to disclose that the zest in the momentum of the three-day meeting will be reinforced with the official upcoming visit of President Sirleaf to Côte d’Ivoire from September 7th to 8th, at the invitation of President Ouattara.

He expressed his confidence that their common determination will contribute, to upgrade more cooperation between the two sisterly countries, at a level that reflects the deepest aspirations of their respective Governments for the shared happiness of their peoples.

Responding, Foreign Minister Kamara said that it is indeed an historic occasion as the Joint Commission Agreement was concluded in 1972, 45 years ago. “It is our common decision to reenergize, reinvigorate the Joint Commission Agreement that was concluded in 1972 and to fine tune it to the new realities of development of our two countries,” she stated.

She further stated that despite signing eight agreements, both countries have already been cooperating in many other areas. She stressed that the agreements that they both signed will formalize and bring all the others into a framework that will guide both nations.

“We know that these are not the only areas of cooperation; we have indeed identified 22, but we have decided to start with these because they are the most important and these are the ones that we are hoping that we will be able to make some impact,” Foreign Minister Kamara stressed.

She challenged both countries that going forward, they should make sure to give life and meaning to the agreements signed. “We are encouraging technical staff of both countries to define the next step and not just put these agreements on the shelf,” she said, adding, “We are counting on everyone to do their best so that over the next period we will set our cooperation on a course that is irreversible.” The Joint Commission is expected to meet every two years and the next meeting will be in 2019 in Côte d’Ivoire.


ACDI/VOCA end support to oil palm farmers

As the global demand for palm oil shows no signs of slowing, Liberian farmers need more ways of boosting their productivity and income. Because of deforestation and other risks linked to palm oil production, they also need sustainable, environmentally-friendly ways of doing so. Since 2011, the economic development organization ACDI/VOCA has supported smallholder oil palm tree farmers in Liberia through programs funded by the United States government.

As the global demand for palm oil shows no signs of slowing, Liberian farmers need more ways of boosting their productivity and income. Because of deforestation and other risks linked to palm oil production, they also need sustainable, environmentally-friendly ways of doing so. Since 2011, the economic development organization ACDI/VOCA has supported smallholder oil palm tree farmers in Liberia through programs funded by the United States government.

As the global demand for palm oil shows no signs of slowing, Liberian farmers need more ways of boosting their productivity and income. Because of deforestation and other risks linked to palm oil production, they also need sustainable, environmentally-friendly ways of doing so. Since 2011, the economic development organization ACDI/VOCA has supported smallholder oil palm tree farmers in Liberia through programs funded by the United States government.

To strengthen the palm oil value chain, this year, the program paired farmers with the Liberian seed supplier Rainforest Agriculture Enterprise (RAE). Then, the program imported 200,000 seeds of pre-germinated, high-yielding, and disease-resistant F1 tenera oil palm seeds from the National Agricultural Research Center (CNRA), an international breeding center in Cote d’Ivoire.

Forty-five nursery operators in Liberia got involved by helping grow the seedlings. They bought three-fourths of the seeds imported and covered the costs of running the nursery until they could sell the seedlings to out-growers, or contracted buyers. By the August 2017 planting season, the program expects nursery operators to sell up to 125,000 of the 150,000 seeds they bought. Currently, farmers have 100,000 oil palm seedlings covering 740 hectares of land. Once harvested, they estimate earning US$600,000, which would make a large dent in rural poverty.
Previously, communities struggled to process enough quality oil palm to meet the demand. The SHOPS II program trained manufacturers and vendors of processing machines in business and financial management. It also trained seven machinists from Bong, Nimba, Lofa, and Grand Bassa counties to fabricate and use Freedom Mills. These mills surpass the traditional pit process in efficiency, especially manual mills that transport easily and need 30 percent less labor and 75 percent less time.

More than 6,000 people now have access to 400 manual and 40 motorized mills, which all contribute to the “Made in Liberia” brand. To show local farmers how to use the mills, 235 community demonstrations took place. The program also designed a new prototype Freedom Mill for processing dura palm fruits to help farmers diversify their incomes.

To keep them connected, the SHOPS II program created a data collection system at 23 trade centers, so that all actors in the value chain could access price, demand, and availability. It also held two trade fairs and took part in others hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Program, and government partners. The program trained 584 farmers, processors, manufacturers, and others, including 303 men and 282 women, in best business practices and marketing. All trainings aimed to include at least 45 percent women. They also received coaching and mentoring in financial recordkeeping.

Although local banks refused to lend to farmers, despite making several visits, the SHOPS II program helped farmers form their own village savings and loan associations (VSLAs). Four of the seven VSLAs created formally registered with the Liberia Business Registry. These groups allowed farmers to pool their earnings and offer loans to one another on credit.

Volunteers on assignment with ACDI/VOCA through the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer (F2F) Program came to Liberia from the United States to share their expertise. Oil palm farmers learned about intercropping, or growing crops among other plants. They learned how planting corn, cassava, and other crops could lead to more food security and income generation until the oil palms come into full production. They also learned how to prevent soil erosion and protect wildlife habitats. Volunteers even helped install simple irrigation systems at seven nurseries to cut down on labor and seedling morbidity.

Despite the SHOPS II program soon ending, farmers and nursery operators will maintain a reliable link to seed providers, who can guarantee the same seeds, and local garages that can manufacture and repair mills. With better planting materials, mill technology, and business skills, farmers involved in the program feel positive about having sustainable livelihoods long after the program ends.

Mercy Corps exposes 205 students to job skills

Professionals invited by Mercy Corps from diverse career areas have exposed 205 graduating senior students from the Monrovia Vocational Training Center (MVTC) in Gardnerville to “job - readiness - information”, encouraging them to do practical things that add to their skills.

The interactive Career Fair held on Friday, 18 August was sponsored by ExxonMobil through the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) and implemented by Mercy Corp as one of the latter’s programs that it has been undertaking here since 2015.

At the end of a seven - day training for the 205 graduating senior students at MVTC, Mercy Corps Country Director Douglas Cooper told journalists that Mercy Corps invited professionals to speak with the young people and share their experiences as a means of motivating them to start a journey in their career.

Mr. Cooper says the interaction is meant to expose students in their areas of studies in many ways, such as providing them job - readiness - information, applications, interviews and practical things that they need to do to add to their skills in their fields of study.

The Mercy Corps official concludes that the program works specifically with youth that are finding ways to make a good living.

The students are trained in areas including carpentry, masonry, computer, electricity, plumbing and welding, among others.

They received motivational accounts from Mr. Samuel B. Jippy who runs a Welding and Fabrication center at 72nd Road, carpenter John Morris of the Charbural Enterprise on Somalia Drive, Mr. Roland V. Kranto, CEO of Roland Electrical Millennium Inc., and Mr. Meek Johnson, a specialist in refrigeration and aircondition works, among others.

Career Fair Committee Chair Mr. Stanley Karmo encouraged the students to pay keen attention to the speakers in order to benefit from their presentations.

In his presentation, Mr. Samuel B. Jippy, a welding and fabrication specialist says while pondering over what to do after he graduated from high school, his father established a welding shop in 2010 and encouraged him to get on board and learn in the shop.

While encouraging the students to pursue formal education, Mr. Jippy also argues that training one’s mind to do what is ought to be done outside of formal education is still an education in a specific area.

He tells students that there will always be challenges on the job, but they need to exercise patience to know what they are learning, and master their working tools in order to be marketable.

As for the second presenter, carpenter John Morris, he says people can get into a particular trade either by inheriting it, being inspired by others or by admiring people who are already into a particular field.

He says he was lucky to be picked by his late uncle to learn in a carpenter shop during his schooldays, and his uncle would even refuse to give him food if he (Morris) was complained of not performing certain tasks assigned to him in the carpenter shop. --By Winston W. Parley

Gd. Kru youths break grounds for US$3,000 intellectual center

A ground breaking ceremony for the construction of an intellectual center value more the US$3,000 has been held in Barclyville, Grand Kru County, southeast Liberia.

Under the banner Grand Kru County Intellectual Forum or “Ageewulu” in the local vernacular, it will be the first forum since the formation of the county in 1984.

Media consultant Mr. James Myking Suah, says in the local dialect, Ageewulu means "Come Let’s Talk", adding that it is intended to promote economic, social, political, sports, education, security and developmental issues concerning Grand Kru, Liberia and the world at large.

Mr. Suah continues that the forum invites relevant actors to discuss or explain their scope of operations in the county and to also speak on variety of issues. He says if completed, the center will have the capacity to host over 150 persons and will contain three offices, situated in Barclayville, Wapleken community.

He calls on well-meaning citizens of the county to provide moral and financial support to buttress the initiative embarked on by cross section of young people in Grand Kru.

Mr. Suah lauds Grand Kru County Superintendent Elizabeth Dempster and others that have identified with the forum financially.

Superintendent Dempster pledges her fullest support to ensure that the forum is erected up to standard.

“I am grateful that young people in my county today are thinking on holding discussions that will promote peace and development to move the county forward” she notes. Editing by Jonathan Browne

AfDB, IsDB sign 2bn deal

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) have signed a landmark agreement to strengthen partnership at country level.

Both parties have agreed to jointly pull together the sum of US $2 billion over the next three years to finance projects in agriculture and food security, renewable energy, small and medium enterprises, and human development (health and education).

To realize the shared objective of the agreement, the IsDB and the Bank agreed to each contribute US $1 billion over three years for joint activities focusing on these priority areas and sectors.

Speaking at the agreement signing ceremony at the AfDB headquarters in Abidjan, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina reaffirmed the Bank’s commitment and interest to build a stronger partnership with the Islamic Development Bank.

The IsDB will also engage with the Bank to implement the High 5s- the five areas in which the AfDB is focusing on to help accelerate Africa's economic transformation.

“Today’s meeting is about collaboration and partnership. AfDB and IsDB share common traits and the agreement we are signing is the highest with any development bank. We are very excited about the range of things we can do together and we are ready to work with you to move this movement,” Adesina said.

“We are going to work on a pipeline of projects in Africa stretching from agriculture to SMES, energy and human development. We need to create jobs for our women and youth.”

IsDB is among the largest contributors of co-financing to the Bank. The Bank and IsDB have co-financed projects valued at over US$ 2.5 billion for the period 2002—2016.

The AfDB has a country presence in 21 out of the 27 common member countries with IsDB. As part of the new agreement, AfDB and IsDB are to complement and make use of each other’s staff expertise at country-level.

The President of the Islamic Development Bank, Bandar Hajjar described the areas of partnership as crucial.“We look forward to working with the AfDB in moving SMEs towards industrialization, renewable energy and agriculture and food security. These areas will create jobs and lead to economic transformation and improve the lives of the people of Africa. SMEs can transform African economies from primary to industrial hubs,” Hajjar said.

The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) is a multilateral development financing institution located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. IsDB was founded in 1973 during the first Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now called the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation).-Press release

EU disburses US11.2m to Liberia

The European Union announced here Tuesday July 11, that it has disbursed EUR10 million about USD11.2 million to the Liberian Government to support its budget for 2017.

The EU said it had made the disbursement, which is the third payment under its budget support program to the Liberian government because it (Liberian Government) has made satisfactory progress in improving its public financial management.

The money, which was directly disbursed in to the government’s treasury account according Ambassador Tiina Intelmann, Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, is towards specific targets relating to security and rule of law in line with the Agenda for Transformation, the country’s medium-term development strategy.

This disbursement follows two previous payment under the EU's budget support programme after a first payment of EUR 29.2 million (USD 33 million) in 2015 and EUR 16 million (USD 18 million) in 2016.

"The EU gives this 10 million euro expecting that the Government will use it to provide Liberians with the vital public services they deserve and it has committed to provide: health, education, security and rule of law. I encourage the Government to continue improving the management of public finances and fight against corruption. In particular, I applaud the operationalisation of four pilot county treasuries, the establishment of a Civilian Complaints Board for the police and immigration services and improved access to justice through magistrates' courts and county courts for cases related to sexual and gender based violence. I encourage Government and the Judiciary to continue their efforts to better plan procurement for entities in the security and rule of law sector and to ensure that spending takes place as planned," Ambassador Tiina Intelmann said.

The European Union withheld EUR 2 million due to the Government of Liberia's failure or partial failure to meet indicators related to the timely publication of procurement plans for the Ministry of Justice and the Judiciary and spending less money than planned through entities in the security and rule of law sector.

The European Union's budget support programme for Liberia, known as a State-building Contract, was signed in May 2015. It was initially intended to support reforms in the security and rule of law sector in the context of the drawdown of the UNMIL peace-keeping mission. Due to the Ebola crisis, it was agreed with the Government of Liberia to modify the project so as to frontload much of the funds for the first payment in July 2015.

The State-building Contract has a total value of EUR 65 000 000 (USD 73 million) over three years. The EU contribution is allocated as follows:
EUR 62,000,000 – General budget support;
EUR 2,690,000 – EU contribution to Integrated Public Financial Management Reforms Programme, implemented through the World Bank;
EUR 300,000 – Technical assistance to build capacities within the Ministry of Finance in the implementation of the State Building Contract, implemented by the Overseas Development Institute.

The current disbursement of EUR 10 million is made up of two parts:

EUR 5 million is linked to four general conditions:
(i) satisfactory progress in the implementation the Agenda for Transformation;
(ii) implementation of a credible stability-oriented macro-economic policy;
(iii) satisfactory progress in the implementation of the Public Finance Management Reform Strategy; and
(iv) satisfactory progress with regard to the public availability of timely, comprehensive and sound budgetary information.
Payment of an additional EUR 5 million was triggered by the Government meeting the following performance indicators fully:
a) fiscal decentralisation implemented in four county treasuries;
b) Civilian Complaints Board established to strengthen the accountability and integrity of the Liberian security sector actors after UNMIL drawdown;
c) strengthened adjudication of sexual/gender-based violence as measured by an increased number of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) cases tried in Bong, Lofa, Nimba, Maryland, Grand Kru, River Gee, Grand Gedeh and Sinoe;
d) magistrate courts in Bong, Nimba and Lofa increased the share of cases disposed of leading to more timely justice in the region; and partially meeting indicators related to:
e) disbursement according to spending plans by spending entities in the security and rule of law sector as expression of the financial commitment of Government to Security and Rule of law sector reforms;
f) Bureau of Immigration & Naturalization, Drug Enforcement Agency, Liberia National Fire Service, Liberia National Police and Liberia National Police Training Academy published procurement plans in a timely manner for FY2015/2016 as an element to improved budget execution.

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