Liberia: House Reviews US$44.6 Deal for Women and Girls' Empowerment


The House of Representatives is probing a financing package aimed to improve economic livelihoods and access to social services for women and girls in targeted communities, foster positive social norms, and strengthen the government's capacity to advance women and girls’ empowerment in Liberia. 

On Tuesday January 24, during the 3rd Day Sitting, members  of the House of Representatives voted for the financing agreement signed on July 4, 2022, between the International Development Association and the Republic of Liberia, to be forwarded to the Joint Committee on Ways, Means, Finance and Development Planning,  the Judiciary and Gender, to scrutinize and report within two weeks.

The motion was proffered by Sinoe County District #2 Representative,  Samson Wiah.

The House’s decision followed a communication from President George M. Weah, submitting for ratification the  "FINANCING AGREEMENT (LIBERIA WOMEN EMPOWERMENT PROJECT) BETWEEN REPUBLIC OF LIBERIA AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION."

The President said: "The Objectives of the Project [are] to improve social and livelihood services for women and girls in targeted communities, foster positive social norms and strengthen the government's capacity to advance women and girls' empowerment."

President  Weah noted that : " Under the Agreement, the Association agrees to extend to the Republic of Liberia a Grant and a Credit, which are deemed as Concessional Financing in the following amounts: (a) an amount equivalent to Thirteen Million Three Hundred Thousand Special Drawing Rights (SDR 13,300,000) as Grant; and (b) an amount equivalent to Twenty Million Special Drawing Rights (SDR 20,000,000l as Credit." 

Accordingly,  the equivalents are  $44.60 million ($17.80 million grant and $26.80 million concessional credit).

Meanwhile, the Liberia Women Empowerment Project (LWEP) is expected to address in a comprehensive way the various key constraints and barriers that women and girls in Liberia face in realizing their full potential. 

In particular, the project will empower women and girls by providing them with grants to start and expand women-led businesses across various sectors and providing them with the relevant training and mentoring so that they are successful in such businesses. 

The project will also support positive changes in social norms, behavior, and attitudes that create a conducive and safe social environment for women and girls and empower them to make individual and collective life changing decisions including access to economic opportunities, education, and health services. 

Finally, the project will also strengthen the capacity of relevant national institutions so that they are able to design, implement, and scale up programs that empower women and girls.