A World Bank delegation to Liberia says because the Liberian government has demonstrated a strong will in managing funds meant to improve the fisheries sector, the board of the Bank has sourced additional resources to the tune of US$20 million for the improvement of the sector, a press release from the National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority (NaFAA) has disclosed.
The release said the 20 million announced is in addition to 40 million dollars earlier approved by the Bank for the Liberian government through NaFAA, under the ‘Liberia Sustainable Management of Fisheries Project’.
The release said the World Bank Practice Manager on Environment, Natural Resources, and Blue Economy for West and Central Africa, Sanjay Srivastava, explained that the additional support was approved following commitment and assessment of a demonstrated will by the government to effectively manage fisheries through NaFAA.
“The additional US$ 20 million was prompted by the promise assured by the government that they can really grow the fisheries sector economy very well. And so far they have shown leadership and motivation to really use the money effectively. They have clearly laid out a good agenda both about investment and livelihood as well as reforms and policies to bring about changes,” Srivastava stated.
He spoke yesterday at the technical office of NaFAA when the World Bank team had gone there on a technical assessment. According to the release, the World Bank official said he was pleased with the level of work the fisheries body was doing saying Liberia is one of those countries with a strong fisheries program.
“The fisheries sector is being viewed as an important venture for enormous progress, and as such the World Bank’s interest is to see it elevated for the purpose of creating huge revenue potential for the Liberian government and not only for job creation,” Srivastava said.
“We see this project to help not only to create more jobs for the local communities and to grow the local economy but also to grow more revenue potential for the government of Liberia”.
Earlier, World Bank Liberia country manager, Khwima Nthara, said the presence of the bank was to assess the potential for expansion of ongoing activities at NaFAA. The release added that NaFAA Director-General, Emma Metieh Glassco, led the delegation on a tour of sites identified for construction of both industrial and artisanal fisheries at the Mesurado Pier on the Bushrod Island, where NaFAA’s technical office is situated.
The release stated that the fisheries boss said that a portion of the World Bank funding will go towards the construction of landing sites for local or artisanal fishing folks, while a large portion will be used to construct an industrial fishing port at the Mesurado Pier near the Coast Guard base, Bushrod Island.
During the visit by the World Bank delegation, the release said, a few departments were toured including the Fisheries Monitoring Center under the Monitoring Control and Surveillance Department.
The release said the delegation later toured the Hatchery located in Clay in Bomi County, where a portion of the funding would also go toward the rehabilitation of the center. A hatchery is an installation or building in which the hatching of fish or poultry eggs is artificially controlled for commercial purposes.
The objective of the Liberia Sustainable Management Fisheries project is to adequately manage and sustain the resources of the sector; strengthen the institutional capacity of the country’s fisheries authority in order to strengthen the economy by leveraging the proceeds from the sector to promote fiscal and macroeconomic stability.