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UK Gov’t recommits annual 70M to Liberia

Great Britain says its partnership with Liberia towards democratic sustainability will remain a matter of priority, especially, as Liberia strengthens democratic institutions while engendering shared prosperity, peace and stability.

The Minister for State for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Harriet Baldwin assures that the UK Government is continuing its annual 70 Million Development assistance to Liberia, emphasizing multilateral interventions with the United Nations, World Bank, and European, among others.

A dispatch from the Liberian Embassy in London says Minister Baldwin responding to members of the legislative delegation from Liberia notes that ‘while the UK Government’s interventions may be badge under different multilateral players’ it still remains committed to supporting democratic reforms and key developments aspirations of Liberia.

Speaking about the extent and scope of UK Development assistance to Liberia in a briefing session at The UK Parliament with members of a Liberian legislative delegation, Minister Baldwin recounts that the UK Development assistance to Liberia is focused towards Health Care, through Liberia’s Health Pool fund; as well as Infrastructural development, coordinated through the Liberia Infrastructure Trust.

She stresses that the United Kingdom has been a key donor partner to the health and infrastructure dedicated funding pool spanning 10 years.She says her government will continue to boost shared prosperity through its overseas development assistance, adding that the UK is also involved through varying private sectors players at the level of the Mount Coffee Hydro and the Roberts International Airport, two strategic infrastructural projects key to redirecting the Liberian economy.A Liberian legislative delegation headed by Nimba County Representative Johnson Gwaikolo is in London upon invitation from the British Parliament.

On the need to increasing UK private capital to Liberia, Minister Baldwin suggests that the Commonwealth Development Council or CDC, a private investment outfit of the UK government, remains a unique platform; stressing the high level of equity associated.

She told the Liberian legislators that the UK is also committed to collaborating with Liberia along the lines of climate change while calling on members of the delegation to review the global concerns of tackling Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

For his part, the Chair of the Committee on International Development in the House of Commons Stephen Twigg highlights the UK government’s increasing involvement with Liberia, looking at post-Ebola health recovery and the government’s efforts to sustain Liberian democratic gains.

He says his committee reviews and assesses the functions of DFID, the UK government overseas development outfit, referencing the 2014 report.The Chair of the All Party-Parliamentary group on Africa in the House of Commons, Chi Onwurah, suggests the need for a trade envoy to Liberia.

Addressing the round table on Liberia, Onwurah explains that such position will advance and deepen trade links with UK and Liberia, stating that civil society and trade councils- and other partnerships will compliment bilateral exchanges between the two countries.

The round table with legislators from Liberia and members from both Houses of the UK Parliament, brought into focus enrollment and the need to increase access to education while retaining the number of school going girls in rural communities.

In response, the Chairman of the Liberian legislative delegation to London Rep. Gwaikolo sounds a pitch for Liberia and the UK, looking beyond the horizon in the wake of the ongoing Brexit process that will eventually culminate into the United Kingdom restructuring its relations with the European Union.

He presents what he considers ‘Brexlink’- exploring linkages between both countries, while recognizing the UK multilateral aid assistance to Liberia that is rightfully concentrated along the country’s health and infrastructural needs.

The Liberian lawmakers asserts to his UK counterparts that Liberia’s delegation to Westminster is presenting the gains made with satisfactory access to education- while the search for new frontiers towards quality and greater proficiency across Liberian schools are the new education demand.

On the Partnership school Pilot, Rep. Gwaikolo and team note that the pilot is being reviewed across different target areas; hopefully to improve its targets and outcomes. The Partnership Schools, along with the general outlook of education are under scrutiny, as Liberia seeks to drive budgetary and donor focus on improving education as a key driver of development.

Stressing on the improved equity prospects of the British private investment outfit – the CDC, he notes that Liberia is exploring increasing private investment to unlock the prospects of the Liberian economy.

The Liberian delegation to the Westminster Parliament was guest of the British Group of The Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU), from 7th-11th May 2018. Dispatch

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