In a courtesy meeting with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dr. Bhofal Chambers, recently in Monrovia, the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia says the EU is considering plans to begin dialogue with Members of the Liberian Legislature and other stakeholders on better ways they can impact Liberians directly and their Government through the EU’s support initiatives.
A Member of the EU’s Delegation working in Liberia, Amb. Juan Antonio Frutos told Speaker Chambers that the current support cycle of the EU which began in 2014, ends this year, 2020, and it encapsulated more than USD$400 million in support assistance to Liberia, including direct budgetary support to the GOL, good governance, accountability and transparency, rule of law, education and other basic projects financed by the European Union in Liberia.
Amb. Antonio says the EU appreciates the Government of Liberia for the state of the economy which is countenance on the tough implementations of polices to address structural and long-standing economic shortcomings and other new challenges. He mention the support of the IMF program Extended Credit Facility of 213.6 million USD. According to the EU Envoy the first necessary step was the reduction of the wage bill. In furtherance the EU’s Envoy averred that reducing the GOL wage bill was a difficult reform, but if the sacrifice would not have been made, the situation now would have been much worse.
Also in attendance, in the courtesy meeting with Speaker Chambers, was the EU’s Head of Cooperation, Mr. Theodorus Kaspers who elucidated about EU’s plans to commence the construction of a multi-million dollars vocational training institution in Maryland County. Mr. Kaspers says the plans and designs of the infrastructure will be done in Harper, Maryland County, and it has already been concluded since last year and it is set to be launched soon.
For his part, House Speaker Dr. Bhofal Chambers welcomed the decision of the European Union to seek the counsel of the Legislature about decision-making in the socio-economic challenges of Liberia with lawmakers. The Speaker says the EU’s plans for its next 6-year framework for support activities in Liberia as a development partner, is something worth commending.
Speaker Chambers says it’s about time that donor partners, like the European Union, change their approach of development assistance to Liberia to a partnership of helping Liberia to be self-sufficient to manage and benefit from her resources for the best interest of her people, by assisting Liberia to rewrite its laws by copying good examples and successes of countries with similar natural resources like forestry, mining, and fisheries.
Speaker Chambers named Germany, Norway, Canada, Botswana, and Vietnam, as some of such countries which have managed and benefitted from similar natural resource economic sectors as Liberia has.
On account of the EU’s plans to construct a TVET institute in Harper, Dr. Chambers, who is also the Representative of District # 2, Pleebo Sodoken, Maryland County, stated that the decision by the EU to construct a Vocational Training Institution in the county is welcoming.
The Speaker says he believes that wide range discussions on such projects are usually done on grounds of population, proximity, and the social political nature of the location as the case with constructing such institution in Harper City, Maryland County.