European Union (EU), one of Liberia’s development partners, has made a commitment of US$160 million to support the country’s road maintenance, provide direct budget support to government, education, vocational training and agriculture.
According to a statement from the EU delegation to Liberia, over US$40 million was disbursed last year to enhance these projects, with renewed commitment of US$160 million for the expansion of electricity, $13 million for alternative basic education and $10.9 million for electoral support to the National Elections Commission (NEC) to raise public awareness ahead of 2017 elections.
Of the US$40 million disbursed, EU said it provided $29 million to the Liberian government in direct budgetary support, which it clarified as a grant.
Touching on the expansion of electricity, the EU indicated that the project will impact residents including businesses in the Paynesville Community, outside Monrovia.
Additionally, 2016 activities, according to EU, would also include support to vocational education and agriculture, primary health services in the southeast and follow up on support provided during the devastating Ebola crisis.
Also included among the projects the EU has on hand is the maintenance of Liberia’s network of paved roads, support the EU delegation said is provided only by its member states for maintenance of the Gbarnga to Ganta highway in the form of a grant.
On the issue of EU-Liberia partnership, the release quoted the Union as saying it received 40 percent of Liberia’s export in 2013.
“As a least developed country, all Liberia’s products (except arms) enjoy duty free and quota free access to EU market,” the release said.
Through the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) and the recently signed EU-Liberia Sustainable Fisheries Agreement, the EU delegation said it is working with Liberia to ensure the management of its resources for the benefit of its citizens.