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.