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World Bank calls for robust policies and institutions

-For Liberia to tackle developmental challenges

World Bank’s Indicator identifies challenges impeding Liberia’s progress.

By Kruah Thompson

Monrovia, Liberia, May 28, 2024 – A recent report from the World Bank’s Policy and Institutional Assessment Indicator highlights Liberia’s pressing need for robust policies and institutions to tackle developmental challenges within the county.

According to the report, Liberia’s policy and institutional assessment score has stagnated at 3.0 since 2020, with governance and structural policies emerging as the least-performing categories.

The Assessment Indicator compared Liberia’s score with African regions, revealing significant gaps in structural policies, business regulatory environments, social inclusion, gender equality, human resource development, environmental sustainability, public sector management, revenue mobilization efficiency, and transparency and accountability.

World Bank Country Manager Georgia Wallen delivered the report to the Liberian government on May 25, 2024, at the government’s recent Cabinet Retreat in Monrovia.

Beyond the traditional development sectors, the report highlights challenges in critical areas such as access to safe drinking water and sanitation, disability inclusion, and gender disparities.

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Shockingly, it revealed that less than 10 percent of Liberians have access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services, while 14 percent of the population presents disabilities, leading to lower human capital outcomes.

Similarly, it indicated that Gender disparities also persist, with women facing more constraints in human capital accumulation, resulting in lower literacy rates, higher HIV prevalence, and other indicators.

Likewise, it says the healthcare sector faces considerable challenges, with high child mortality rates and malaria remaining a major cause of death.

In addition, the report terms Education in Liberia a “Silent Crisis,” with the learning gap being among the lowest globally. “Approximately 15-20 percent of children aged 6 to 14 are not enrolled in basic education, and 40 percent of students drop out before completing primary education,” it notes. 

The report highlights the country’s Human Capital Index (HCI), which is only 0.32 in Liberia. This suggests that a child born in the country today is expected to be only 32 percent as productive when he or she grows up compared to their potential with complete education and full health.

Moreover, it emphasizes that Liberia’s GDP per capita could significantly increase if the country meets benchmarks in education and health, potentially leading to 2.3 percentage points of extra annual growth over the next 50 years

In light of these findings, there is a pressing call for the Boakai administration to prioritize strengthening policies and institutions to address Liberia’s developmental challenges and pave the way for sustainable growth and prosperity across its 15 political subdivisions. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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