On last Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund or IMF announced the completion of the necessary steps by the Republic of Liberia to have its debts written off. In view of the foregoing, our nation is once more set to qualify for full debt relief making it credit-worthy. According to the First deputy managing Director and Acting Chairman of the IMF Board, John Lispky, the decision on Liberia’s HIPC completion point was contingent upon the Executive Board of the World Bank reaching a similar decision at a meeting scheduled for tomorrow, June 29, 2010.
The IMF underscored the strong commitment to sound macroeconomic policies demonstrated by the Liberian Government in a difficult external environment. It noted the achievement of a balanced cash-based budget by the government despite revenue shortfalls and the considerable advancement of structural reforms, emphasizing that growth is expected to accelerate in 2010, while inflation is expected to remain on a downward trend.
Among the justifications provided, the IMF noted that the FY2011 (July-June) fiscal program, based on realistic revenue assumptions, entails an increased share of spending for poverty reduction strategy objectives, as well as improvements in public financial management which should increase the overall effectiveness of government expenditure. It said the government appointed a high-level Debt Management Committee and revised the debt management strategy, balancing the need for increased priority investment with the objective of maintaining a low level of debt vulnerability. It also noted that the government was pressing ahead with reforms to strengthen governance, public financial management, state-owned enterprises oversight, and revenue administration
Financial sector reforms to improve financial intermediation, while preserving stability, including by enhancing banking supervision capacity and developing financial sector infrastructure. The IMF also recognized ongoing efforts to improve statistics, focusing on the compilation of a new set of national accounts crucial for sound economic management. We at the New Dawn wholeheartedly welcome the latest development, with the strongest conviction that with the indisputable rustication provided by the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank’s concurrence will just be within a few hours on Tuesday.
This important economic decision in our national interest would not have been possible had the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf not worked tirelessly up to late nights on a daily basis put into place all of the required measures to reach this point. May we commend the Government of Liberia its steadfastness in ensuring Liberia’s compliance that has got us where we are now with our multilateral financial partners and other friendly nations. We are of the fervent belief that all that President Sirleaf and her Administration have put into place will be sustained not only to attract the IMF and World Bank, but to keep our economic relations cordial with the rest of the international community.
Again, we congratulate the Ellen Administration for this major achievement, with the hope and prayer the funds borrowed from these multilateral financial institutions will be expeditiously expended to improve its domestic relations. Bravo Ellen, bravo the Government of Liberia, bravo the people of Liberia.