World Bank, GoL Sign US$15.8m Pro-Poor Financing Agreement

world_bank_221010The World Bank and the Government  of Liberia have signed a US$15.8 million financing agreement for the project titled “Liberia Social Safety Nets.”

Madam Larisa Leshchenko, World Bank Country Manager, signed for the bank, while Finance and Development Planning Minister Boima Kamara signed for the Liberian government.

According to the bank, the Liberia Safety Nets project agreement signed Monday will benefit extremely poor and food insecure households in the country.

Madam Leschenko recalled that prior to 2014, Liberia made significant gains in stimulating the economy, reducing poverty and improving service delivery to the most vulnerable.

According to World Bank official, gains made over those years by Liberia were negatively impacted by the Ebola Virus Disease, adding that the virus outbreak demonstrated the need for Liberia to put in place a robust social protection system that can be used to reach the extremely poor in times of emergency.

She said the Liberia Social Nets Project is being financed through a US$10 million credit from the World Bank.

Leschenko noted that it will not only deliver cash transfers, but also implement accompanying measures aimed at promoting the growing of quick and high yielding nutritious food through home gardening.

She lauded the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for committing to co-finance the project with an additional grant of at least US$5.8 million, bringing total financing to US$15.8 million.

The project, she added, will also provide support for increasing awareness on improved nutrition among targeted households to improve consumption and invest in the human development of their families, particularly young children as well as pregnant women and lactating mothers.

Speaking earlier, Merryn Farroe, USAID Deputy Director, said his organization’s involvement began in 2015, when they sought ways to identify the EVD response in the country and how to awaken the social protection in a different way due to the United States involvement through the Food For Peace program in Liberia.

Mr. Farroe said research has expressed the need to invest in the system that will support social protection for Ebola response as well as the future.

For his part, Minister Kamara termed the signing of the agreement as a significant step in addressing social protection that goes to the heart of how the incidents of poverty and hunger are being addressed.

Minister Kamara believes the agreement demonstrates the interest of the government in addressing issues of poverty and hunger and how the vulnerable can be reached in society.

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About Cholo Brooks 13201 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.