With complaints about poverty and corruption flowing in from almost all sectors of the society, EU Ambassador Attilio Pacifici, says the EU is impressed by the level of development in the country and the way funds provided by the EU are used.
In an interview with the Daily Observer on March 20, at his Mamba Point office, Ambassador Pacifici said that while there are challenges of inequality and poverty galore, (in abundance, plentiful) there are an equal amount of key projects the government has targeted for the benefit of the general public under the ‘global public goods’ concept.
He named some of the projects government has prioritized (marked important) as the Mount Coffee Hydro project, the Forest Sector, education, health, amongst others; these, according to him, are essential to the survival of Liberians.
Ambassador Pacifici also indicated that most of these public goods government is endeavoring to reconstruct were damaged during the course of the Liberian civil war, and rebuilding them takes more years to rebuild.
“These things can be destroyed in two days, but to rebuild them it takes years upon years to do. Therefore, Liberians have to be patient and not expect things to happen overnight after years of destruction,” Ambassador Pacifici noted.
Pointing out some instances of improvement, the EU Ambassador said the Forest sector had a problem with the Private Used Permit (PUP); but when government realized that there was a problem, it took a tangible step to halt the activities and with EU involvement, the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) has been signed to help Liberia reap the benefit of its resources.
He also said when there is cheaper electricity in Liberia; Liberians will be able to gain access to it to improve their lives. Said step, taken by government to prioritize electricity is now ongoing and is a laudable initiative.
The Agenda for Transformation that takes into consideration social reformation, the Ambassador said, is something that EU supports; but Liberians have to see the reformation as theirs and positively act towards it, before it can be achieved,” he pointed out.
The European Union is one of Liberia’s major partners that provide finance for the post-war recovery of the country.
It (EU) has infused millions of dollars in Liberia’s development projects, in the Energy, Health, and Forest sectors.
EU provided funds for Health and Sanitation in West Point a few months ago, after signing the Voluntary Partnership Agreement with Liberia earlier, In the process, it infused millions of dollars for sustaining the forest so that its resources might have a direct impact on the citizens.
With fear on the part of many Liberians that corruption is rampant and money provided by donor countries may not meet the needed objective, Ambassador Pacifici said EU is confident that wherever it has provided money, encouraging results have emerge.
He said that considering the key priority areas government is now tackling, it is unjustified for people to wholly discredit the government for not meeting up with other challenges.
Giving some background about EU’s mission in Liberia and other West African countries, Ambassador Pacifici said that while development is important to the relationship, EU also seeks to address political social, policy, and diplomatic challenges with countries it affiliates with; within these areas, the EU created various branches to work for the betterment of people living in their respective countries, he said.