President George Manneh Weah’s government has secured its first World Bank grant of US$24.7m, with further assurances from the bank that more support will continue to flow in.
World Bank Country Manager for Liberia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, Mr. Henry G.R. Kerali said Friday, 2 February at President Weah’s residence in the Rehab Community during the signing ceremony that the grant amount of US$24.7m was the first grant being signed for Liberia.
Mr. Weah was present during the event when his Finance Minister Samuel Tweh and the World Bank Country Manager Mr. Kerali signed and exchanged notes.
Mr. Kerali said the grant is meant to support the government in its development activities, and emphasized that it will not be repaid. According to him, it is the government that will decide about the utilizing of the grant.
The World Bank Country Manager pledges commitment to working with President Weah and to continue supporting Liberia. For his part, Liberia’s Finance Minister Samuel Tweh said the visit by the World Bank has reconfirmed its commitment to development here on the president’s vision.
On the World Bank’s goal to end poverty, Minister Tweh said this step should be seen as a beginning of the realization of that goal in Liberia, promising that the new partnership with the World Bank and other development partners will be based on delivering results for “Pro – Poor” impact.
He assured the World Bank official that every penny of the grant will be dedicated to the government’s pro – poor policy in the interest of the Liberian people, having acknowledged that grant and credit resources from partners should make impact on road construction, education, youth development and agriculture.
Following the event, Presidential Press Secretary Sam Mannah told journalists that the World Bank announced that within two months it will get approval to pave the Ganta to Tapita Highway. He says the bank has announced that it has secured US$40m for phase one of the project which is from Ganta to Tapita, while phase two which is from Tapita to Fish Town, River Gee County will be undertaken as long as the funds are available.
Mr. Mannh adds that depending on how fast government can ratify the project, pavement of the Ganta to Tapita Highway can be seen in the next four to six months.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah