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Liberia fails MCC scorecard again

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-but improves in control of corruption

Liberia has for the third consecutive time failed to pass the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard though it improves on last year’s performance, and also improves in the control of corruption.

According to the Scorecard, which assesses a country’s performance in three policy areas: ruling justly, investing in people and encouraging economic freedom, Liberia made two new passes: Gender in the economy, which improved from 50% to 81% and Rule of Law, which improved from 50% to 52%.

But Liberia newly failed the Immunization Rate Indicator, which declined from 54% last year to 35% this year. Authorities have attributed this decline to the coronavirus pandemic which restricted immunization in communities.

In all, Liberia passed nine of the twenty indicators, compared to the passage in eight last year. A country requires at least a passage in ten of the twenty indicators to maintain compact eligibility throughout the life spine of the program.

The MCC compacts are based on the principle that the U.S. assistance is more effective in countries that have adopted policies promoting an environment for economic growth and poverty reduction.

Under the MCC program, Liberia has benefited from several projects. This include: the completion of the hydropower project, which increased reliability and access to electricity, a trained and skilled energy workforce and a stronger management of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC); Completion of the 5 kilometer raw water pipeline from MCHPP to White Plains and the establishment of the Liberia Energy Regulatory Commission and the creation of systems to more effectively manage the maintenance of Liberia’s roads.

Meanwhile, authorities have considered this Fiscal year 2021 scorecard as a significant improvement, especially in the area of control of corruption (from 0.00 in 2020 to 0.12 in 2021).

The MCC Scorecard shows the great progress the Government has made in its fight against corruption, a statement from the Ministry of Finance read.
The government also considers passage in the rule of law indicate as another great improvement.

“For the first time in the history of the MCC Scorecard, Liberia passed the Rule of Law indicator; Liberia passed the Gender in the Economy Indicator for the first time in 4 years, and since the methodology changed to include more stringent requirements” the statement said.

While the Government is proud of the gains made by Liberia and acknowledged by the MCC, the government said it is confident of more significant more improvements over the next year.

The government expressed regrets though that Liberia newly failed the Immunization Rate Indicator which it attributes to the difficulty in reaching communities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government noted that Liberia has made important regulatory improvements inLand Rights and Access, which were not captured this year due to the IFC’s decision not to publish the Doing Business Report as it reviews irregularities in its data and work to improve the integrity and impartiality of data.

It said Liberia is working with UNESCO to improve the quality of its data, which will improve Liberia’s score on the Primary Education Expenditure, which Liberia will pass for the 2021 Scorecard.

The government further notes that it will continue its efforts to address the policy areas measured by the indicators, including the fight against corruption, improvement in the Rule of Law, and stronger fiscal and monetary policies.

The MCC has recognized the efforts of the Liberian Government and noted its appreciation of Liberia’s improved standing on the scorecard and applauded the work of the Government’s MCC Eligibility Team to strengthen the flow of data to scorecard indicator institutions.

-Writes Othello B. Garblah

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