A six-man high level delegation from the African Development Bank will pay an official visit to Liberia beginning today. The delegation will be headed by the Vice President of the African Development Bank Dr. Kamal El Kheshen. Dr El Kheshen oversees the implementation of the ADB’s Fragile State Facility, the Governance, Economic and Financial Reforms Department as well as the Agriculture and Agro-Industries Department.
A release from the Finance Ministry’s Media Services said the objective of the visit is to hold high level consultations with the Government of Liberia regarding the African Development Bank program assistance to Liberia including funds provided under the Fragile State Facility (FSF). During the visit, Dr.El Kheshen and delegation will also identify possible areas of new assistance to the country in the future. Liberia is the first among the group of countries benefiting from the FSF Program that the ADB Vice President will visit.
In a communication to Finance Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, the ADB said its decision to send a delegation to Liberia is based on the country’s sustained progress achieved in implementing a successful arrears clearance program that paved the way for full debt relief under HIPC and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. The ADB also cited Liberia’s strong commitment to sound macroeconomic management, progress made in rebuilding Public Financial Management systems and in implementing poverty reduction programs.
While in Liberia, the ADB Vice President will sign a grant agreement with the Government of Liberia. Dr. El Kheshen will also pay a site visit to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant. Meetings will also be held with the Minister of Finance and his Deputies including actors from the Aid Management Unit and the Project Financial Management Unit of the Ministry of Finance.
The six man ADB delegation will also hold consultations with the Ministries of Public Works and Planning. Meetings will also be held with the US Ambassador, World Bank Country Manager and European Union Resident Representative. Before departing the country, the ADB Delegation will pay a courtesy call on President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the Executive Mansion to brief her on the outcome of their four- day visit to Liberia.
The African Development Bank is currently supporting several programs in Liberia valued at a little over one hundred million United States Dollars. Some of the programs include infrastructure, agriculture, public financial management reform and labor based public works projects.
The ADB has already signed two grant agreements with Liberia covering the restoration of water to Monrovia and three regional cities (Kakata, Buchanan and Zwedru) that totaled 40 million United States Dollars. The African Development Bank is to also fund the rehabilitation of the Fish Town – Harper highway with a grant of a little over 20 United States million dollars.