WASHINGTON, June 24, 2015 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a new US$60 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit for the Government of Liberia to help continue to expand affordable electricity services to businesses and households in order to spur economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty.
The additional financing will support the ongoing Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) which aims to advance Liberia's national Agenda For Transformation to achieve a more prosperous and inclusive society. The new funds will allow the LACEEP to connect another 36,000 households and businesses located in important areas of greater Monrovia north-west, and in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties-with commercial and industrial customers accounting for 16 percent of the new connections.
"In order to improve people's livelihoods and to cope with the impact of the Ebola crisis it is essential that houses and businesses in Liberia have electricity," said Inguna Dobraja, the World Bank Liberia Country Manager for Liberia. "This new financing will build on the ongoing project to increase access to power in Liberia by connecting households as well as key economic and social service facilities to the national electricity grid."
The LACEEP will help the government in its efforts to stabilize and rebuild Liberia's economy post Ebola. Expanding access to electricity will be critical to address both short term needs of health and education centers, water treatment plants, and other vital facilities, as well as to support the economic and social recovery of Liberia.
"Today's new financing will allow the project to expand the electricity services in Monrovia and in Bomi and Grand Gape Mount counties," said Clemencia Torres de Mästle, World Bank Task Team Leader for the LACEEP. "It will also help strengthen the commercial capacity of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), an important step towards greater financial viability for the utility company."
The initial financing for the LACEEP was approved by the Bank's Board of Directors on May 30, 2013. The original project was designed to focus on the most pressing issues of the government's plans to expand electricity services in Liberia. With today's additional financing, the overall project will provide a total of 46,300 new customers in Liberia with access to electricity.
* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, and helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.