The European Union or EU Commission has approved the disbursement of EUR 29.2 million (approx. USD 31 million) of direct budget support to the Government of Liberia under the Liberia-EU “State-Building Contract” to help Liberia’s recovery.
According to the released issue yesterday, the aim of this first payment under this new budget support programme is to contribute to the implementation of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation and the National Recovery Plan notably in the areas of health, socio-economic recovery after the Ebola crisis and public finance management (PFM).
The released pointed that the disbursement is part of and follows the EU’s 450M pledge of support for the recovery of the three countries most affected Ebola countries, of which EUR 121M for Liberia, made at the High Level International Ebola Recovery Conference on the 10th of July in New York.
In its communication accompanying the payment, the EU recognised the Government’s efforts and progress accomplished despite the Ebola Virus Epidemic and the related crisis and socio-economic consequences. In this communication the EU also: Expects that the gradual return to a stable situation will allow for the intensification of the implementation of the PFM reform strategy; It stresses that the importance of improving the capacity of key ministries to undertake public procurement according to national rules and regulations, and avoid irregularities such as those unveiled last year in the Ministry of Public works.
The released Encourages reinforced budget transparency, in particular timely and exhaustive in-year budget implementation reports. Adding that encourages the Government to settle any pending issues for the conclusion of the fourth review of the IMFs economic programme under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF).
Requests the resumption of regular budget support dialogue to identify and address issues of concern and channel support to Government as necessary.
The programme’s focus during the coming months, including dialogue, conditions related to the next payment and support activities will focus on public finance management, improved justice and security services and accountability, including equitable access to justice for remote or marginalized populations during the process of UNMIL withdrawal.
The EU’s total financial contribution to date to fight the ebola epidemic is over EUR 1.8 billion. This amount includes previous funding from the EU Member States and the European Commission as well as the European Commission’s new pledge of EUR 450 million announced at the UN’s International Ebola Recovery Conference in July.-Press Release