The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Liberia Monday celebrated the signing of a new $257 million partnership agreement at a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State.
The ceremony included remarks by MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Todd Haskell, Liberia Vice President Joseph Boakai, and Liberia Minister of Finance and Development Planning Amara M. Konneh.
The five-year compact with Liberia combines infrastructure investments with policy and institutional reforms designed to modernize the country’s power sector and strengthen its road maintenance systems. MCC’s investment complements the U.S. Government’s efforts to help Liberia recover from the Ebola outbreak, significantly enhances the U.S. Government’s Power Africa engagement in Liberia, and supports two sectors critical for broad growth.
“MCC is pleased to provide funding for Liberia that strengthens the foundation for private investment and complements other U.S. Government efforts at this critical time,” Hyde said. “The United States and Liberia share a deep and special relationship and this investment in energy security will help change the lives of the Liberian people for the better .” he noted.
Currently, only 2 percent of the Liberia population has access to the electric grid, and 84 percent of Liberians live on less than $1.25 a day. To help address these challenges, the compact includes funding for rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydroelectric Plant, development of a training center for technicians in the electricity sector, and support for the creation of an independent energy sector regulator and the
development of a nationwide road maintenance framework. Over the next 20 years, the compact is expected to benefit at least 460,000 people.
“This compact strengthens our partnership with a country that has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of enormous challenges – and exemplary commitment to advancing economic freedom, governing justly, and investing in future opportunity for its people,” Haskell said.
The Liberia Compact was approved by MCC’s Board of Directors at its quarterly meeting in September. MCC completed a $15 million threshold program with Liberia in 2012 that improved land rights and access, girls’ primary education enrollment and retention, and Liberia’s trade policy and practices.-Press Release