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MCC prepares for closure

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With 18 months left to the end of Liberia’s compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), technical experts from the U.S. government agency and their Liberian government counterparts at the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA-L)have met and defined the tasks to be completed.

Joined by representatives of implementing entities, MCA-L and MCC experts ended two weeks of planning this week, focusing on ways to sustain the compact investments in the energy and road sectors. Together, the experts produced an outline of the compact closure plan, listing out tasks and key milestones to be accomplished before January 20, 2021, the compact end date.

They also agreed on the framework for financial, legal, and procurement procedures, in addition to plans for disposing of assets.

Together with Liberian government implementing entities, MCC and MCA-L project directors determined a range of measures to sustain the Millennium Challenge Compact investments in Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant, the Liberia Electricity Corporation, the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission, the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation’s Raw Water Pipeline, and road maintenance after the compact closes in January 2021.

MCC contributed 40 percent of the US$344 million spent to reconstruct the Mt. Coffee Hydro Power Plant, upgrading the country`s main source of electricity from the pre-war capacity of 66 megawatts to 88 megawatts. MCC continues to support the Liberia Electricity Corporation to connect more households and businesses to the grid.

Despite losing 62 percent of its monthly revenue to mainly power theft, LEC has now increased connections to the grid to more than 54,000 households, compared to a little over 30,000households in 2015, before the hydro plant came online.

The compact supported a reform of the sector, including the passing of the Electricity Law of 2015 that created the Liberia Electricity Regulatory Commission (LERC). LERC will register and license private electricity producers, opening the market up to competition in an effort to improve effective service delivery.

The MCC compact is also funding the design and construction of a US$18 million5km raw water pipeline from the Mt. Coffee hydro dam to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant to provide access to quality water to about 1 million people in Monrovia.

Additional compact investments have supported building capacity for staff at the Ministry of Public Works and the National Road Fund, drafting Liberia`s five-year road maintenance plan, and collecting data of the conditions of all roads connecting county capitals, which will be used to annually update the road maintenance plan.

The compact helped establish gender units within the Liberia Electricity Corporation, the Ministry of Public Works, and the Ministry of Mines and Energy to support the compact’s goal to ensure that vulnerable populations, including poor women, war-affected youths, and other minority groups benefit from compact projects.

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