News Column

Testament of Confidence - World Bank Opens Office in Liberia

June 17, 2014

Al-Varney Rogers

World Bank Country Director to Liberia says the opening of the Bank new office in Liberia reaffirms its commitment to the country development.

"As we celebrate the opening of our new offices, we would like to express the World Bank's commitment to continue to work closely with the government of Liberia in the successful implementation of the Bank's Country partnership for Liberia, "World Bank Country Director to Liberia Yusupha Crookes said.

Crookes recalled Liberia's role played in the establishment of the Bank adding that bank support to Liberia development is dated as far back as the 60.

"Liberia joined the world Bank in 1962, becoming its 75th member. Two years later, Liberia received its first funding to finance the construction of two new roads, including the highway from Monrovia to the Robert International Airport," Director Crookes said.

Crookes continued: "upon re-engaging after the end of the war, the Bank is again prioritizing investments in infrastructure, including roads, energy and ICT."

"The expansion of our program has also meant an increasing demand for more and better quality office space to accommodate additional staff on the ground, today this is our new reality," World Bank Country Manager Inguna Dobraja said.

Dobraja said: "Over the last several years, we have seen strong growth in the size and depth of our program in Liberia, a growth that was foreseen after the Country completion of the HIPC process in 2010."

Finance Minister Amara Konneh said, since the Bank established its office in Liberia size and quality of its support to Liberia has gone up.

Minister Konneh said: "We are pleased to note that the World Bank presence in Liberia has increase the seize, quality and support to Liberia, this has contributed to the success of the bank programs and government priorities contributing significantly to the reduction of poverty."

The Finance Minister furthered: "The modernization of this complex is true testament of World Bank commitment to support Liberia's development. We have work together to build roads bridges, schools together we have come a long way".

Konneh said, the bank and government of Liberia are working together to alleviate extreme poverty from through self initiative like the youth empowerment project.

True confidence

Foreign Minister Augustine Ngafuan said, the construction of World Bank Complex represents a huge confidence in Liberia's future.

Minister Ngafuan said, "by this you the World Bank has joined others including the British Government that last year reopened its Embassy in Liberia with resident Ambassador after almost two-decades of closure as well as Sweden, Qatar and Brazil, among others."

Ngafuan continued:"Secondly, the movement of the World Bank's Country Office from Mamba Point, considered the diplomatic enclave, to Oldest Congo Town far away from the diplomatic enclave and the center of the city testifies to the ever deepening stability and security that Liberia has been experiencing for a little more than ten consecutive years..

Ngafuan said, diplomatic missions and international organizations can choose to have their offices in areas of their choice unlike the past.

He indicated that the Bank has remained a friend to Liberia through "thick and thin."

"In those difficult years of the start of the regime, the WB assisted us through many and various interventions aimed at building the capacity, helping to craft our development frameworks."

Minister Ngafuan stated that the Bank contributed half of the funds which enabled the Liberian Government to clear commercial debts of over 1billion dollars through debt buy-backs.

"The Bank has contributed to the rebuilding of critical infrastructure including the paving of Monrovia's streets under URIRP Project, support to the Monrovia City Corporation under the Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation project (EMUS)," Ngafuan said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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