The signing ceremony took place at the World Bank Liberia Country Office on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 in Monrovia. Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah signed for the Government of Liberia, while Khwima Nthara, World Ban Country Manager, signed for the Bank.
In remarks, Minister Tweah expressed delight and appreciated the World Bank Liberia Country Team, Accra-Ghana Team and staffs in Washington DC for their well-coordinated approach, which led to the successful signing ceremony.
He pointed out that financing is budget support, and not a “package” for the coronavirus pandemic.
He indicated that the World Bank grant will buttress the government’s operations, noting that it arrived at a time when the country is experiencing the coronavirus outbreak. He disclosed that the government is also planning to engage the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through its Mission Chief for possible support for the country, given the economic situation as a result of the COVID 19 pandemic.
In his remarks, World Bank Liberia’s Country Manager Khwima Nthara affirmed the Bank’s commitment to supporting the country’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Nthara explained that the financing agreement is in two forms: US$20 million as grant and 20 million as IDA (International Development Association) credit. He indicated that the signing was approved on 17 March 2020, by the World Bank Board Executive Directors.
‘’The financing could not have come at a better time to Liberia, given the fiscal challenges that the country has faced due to many shocks,” Nthara said.
He believes that fiscal challenges are likely to be exacerbated by the health and economic impacts of the COVID 19 pandemic.
“We also plan to go back to our board soon to seek the approval of additional support under the recently announced Fast Track Facility to help Liberia fight the COVID 19 pandemic,” he assured.