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Liberia : World Bank to Support Inclusive Growth in Liberia

Publish Date : 20-Mar-2020

The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved a $40 million International Development Association
(IDA)* project for Liberia to support a series of pro-poor reforms. This is the first operation in a series of three Development
Policy Operations to support the Government of Liberia in achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth by
strengthening public-sector transparency and promoting economic and social inclusion.

“This budget support should help alleviate the country’s fiscal challenges, which are likely to be exacerbated by the COVID-
19 pandemic,” said Khwima Nthara, World Bank Country Manager for Liberia.  “At the same time, the reforms supported
by this operation will help spur inclusive growth and enhance the resilience of the most vulnerable people in Liberia,” he
added.

The operation focuses on boosting productivity and economic diversification by reforming agricultural input markets,
expanding access to electricity and building resilience of the agriculture and energy sectors. It also supports reforms for
improving financial viability of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), reducing trade costs, streamlining tax waivers,
strengthening oversight of state-owned enterprises, and improving debt management and transparency. In addition, the
program will promote economic and social inclusion by facilitating access to digital financial services and building a
national social safety net system, with a special focus on women and girls.

“Achieving inclusive growth will require macroeconomic stability, a thriving private sector and a transparent and efficient
public sector,” said Marina Bakanova, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader of the IGDPO program. “The
current operation supports reforms that will catalyze economic transformation and job creation through improvements in
productivity and competitiveness, especially in the agricultural sector and help create an accountable public sector to
promote shared prosperity and sustainable development,” she added.

The funding comes in the form of a concessional IDA credit of $20 million and an IDA grant of $20 million.

* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of
which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since
1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over
the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.

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