The Government of Liberia and Japan will hold a Joint Committee Meeting (JCM) on Tuesday, September 11, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Monrovia.
The JCM is an annual event that catalogues the Government of Japan’s contributions to Liberia’s socio-economic development programs that are “Pro-Poor” and to review all milestone achievements by Liberia as well as the positive impacts of the KR Food Aids Project (rice) and Non-Project Grant Aids (petroleum products) in Liberia.
The Government of Liberia will be represented by Gbehzohngar Milton Findley, Minister of Foreign Affairs, while Tsutomu HIMENO, Ambassador of Japan to Liberia will be representing his government.
Since the inception of the program in Liberia, the Government of Japan has provided 58,531.13 metric tons of assorted rice and 21,084.64 metric tons of mixed petroleum products, respectively.
It can be recalled that in 2008, before the upsurge of the global financial meltdown, former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf engaged in a bilateral arrangement with the Embassy of Japan near Accra, Ghana, for food aid assistance under the Japanese Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) Program for Africa.
The first Exchange of Notes (E/N) was signed between the Governments of Liberia and Japan on August 18, 2008, and the first consignment of rice weighing 8,612 metric tons arrived March 2009.
According to a Foreign Ministry release, as a direct result of the Japanese Grant Commodities monetization in Liberia, a number of economic recovery projects have been funded and executed by Government Ministries and Agencies.
They are the Community Infrastructural Development Project (CIDP) at the cost US$5.6 million for the opening of alleys along the Robertsfield Highway corridor, which is being implemented by the Ministry of Public Works.
Also included are the Paddy and Seed Rice Project at the cost of US$7.2 million for both phases one and two being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture since 2009 and the construction of five (5) warehouses in Nimba, Bong, Lofa and Grand Gedeh counties at the cost USD1.4 million being implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Other ;projects are the Small Medium Enterprises (SME) Project at the cost US$889,097 and the Liberia Innovative Fund for Enterprise Development (LIFE Fund) at the cost of US$ 665,000 both being implemented by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
The construction of three (3) bridges in Grand Cape Mount County at the cost USD1.9 million being implemented by Grand Cape Mount County with the Ministry of Internal Affairs exercising oversight authority and the Human Resource Capacity Building Project at the cost of US$731,412 being implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are among the Japan-sponsored projects.
In addition to the economic recovery projects mentioned above, the Government of Japan is considering funding requests for the construction of 282 low-cost housing units in Sasstown, Grand Kru County to be rented out at a very minimum cost and the construction of a new Gorbachev Market in the Omega Community area at a proposed cost of US$4.2 million.
The JCM will be attended by all the seven Ministerial Steering Committee members (Foreign Affairs, Finance and Development Planning, Commerce and Industry and State and Chief of Staff to the President, Public Procurement and Concession Commission (PPCC) and the Director-General of the Internal Audit Agency (IAA).
Also expected are private sector representatives of FOUTA CORPORATION, UCI, SWAT, MOTC, PETROL TRADE AND KAILONDO PETROLEUM, the release said.