Liberia Seeks More IMF, World Bank Aid

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Finance Minister Amara Konneh is leading Liberia’s delegation to this year’s Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG) in Washington DC, USA.

The Meetings are expected to kickoff over the weekend and government of Liberia’s delegation is scheduled to participate in high-level meetings to discuss the country’s development agenda and conclude on commitments made by international organizations and other donor partners.

Top on the agenda at these meetings include discussions with the World Bank vice president Maktar Diop, the IMF Director for Africa and former Minister of Finance of Liberia, Dr. Antoinette M. Sayeh, as well as the Liberia reviewer under the IMF Program.

 The Minister is expected to meet with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on Liberia progress toward the compact development.

 He will also serve as one of the panelists on a high level ministerial level panel discussion on the future of concessional finance and the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA) allocation for developing Countries led by World Bank president Dr. Jim Yong Kim. The IDA is the World Bank Group’s fund for the world’s poorest countries.

As Vice Chair of the IMF Constituency I, Finance Minister Konneh will also be participating in high level constituency meetings. These meetings, according to the Ministry of Finance, are expected to yield encouraging dividends for Liberia’s transformation.

While in Washington D.C, Minister Konneh and party will make follow ups and conclude on commitments made by the two monetary institutions as well as other bilateral partners.

Minister Konneh, who is also national coordinator of the Liberia Development Alliance (LDA), is expected to push for the Bank's intervention in supporting Liberia’s medium-term development strategy, the Agenda for Transformation (AfT). He is also expected to show case progress made in the implementation of the five-year development agenda and to seek the Bank and its Fund’s supports towards the energy, roads and other ongoing projects.

Officials traveling with Minister Konneh include Liberia’s Minister of Agriculture Dr. Florence Chenoweth, Minister of Public Works Dr. Antoinette Weeks and Liberia’s Central Bank Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones. Others are Liberia’s Minister of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) Mr. Lewis Brown, Youth and Sports Minister Len Eugene Nagbe as well as Deputy Central Bank Governor for Economic Policy Mr. Boima Kamara and Mr. Tolbert G. Nyenswah, Assistant Minister for Prevention, Ministry of Health.

During the high-level meeting with the World Bank vice president Diop, Minister Konneh is expected to highlight the progress made on Liberia's effort towards achieving a vision for sustainable growth and development particularly investing in infrastructure, with specific emphasis on the rehabilitation of the energy sector, roads and ports. He will also use these meetings to advocate for more IDA allocation for Liberia for infrastructure development.

In order to realize its vision of sustainable growth and development, the government of Liberia says it is working closely with donor partners to mobilize resources for investment in infrastructure.

 In fiscal year 2013/14, the government and its partners have disbursed funds for national priority projects, including the rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydro Plant, the construction of new Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) power plants, the erection of electricity transmission and distribution grids, including new roads and bridges connecting major urban centers and trade routes.

Investing in human capital, leveraging agriculture potential for economic transformation, developing the private sector especially Liberian owned businesses and investing in reconciliation are key areas the Minister will be soliciting donors support.

In order to address the significant infrastructure deficit, the government has assured the public of its continuing efforts to unlock additional resources, both domestically and international through donor partners, to meet the development needs of the country.

The Minister will also meet key staff of the Fiscal Affairs Department of the IMF to discuss recent developments in public financial management (PFM). The Fund’s PFM engagement with Liberia is designed to respond to contemporary demands in the Liberian public financial management landscape.

 The IMF and World Bank meet each autumn in what is officially known as the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group and each spring in the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group.

 The autumn meetings are customarily held in Washington, D.C, United States, for two consecutive years, and in another member country in the third year. On the weekend of the autumn meetings, the G7 also meets.

During these meetings, thousands of government officials, journalists, civil society organizations, and invited participants from the academia and private sectors, gather in Washington, D.C for the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group.

At the heart of the gathering are meetings of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee and the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, which discuss progress on the work of the IMF and the World Bank Group.

 Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.

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