The Government of Liberia has expressed gratitude to the World Bank Group and its partners for conducting a successful donors meeting on the margins of the WBG’s Spring Meetings. The Bank announced the provision of US$650 million during the next 12 to 18 months to help Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
At the press briefing yesterday held at the Ministry of Information in Monrovia, Minister Lewis G. Brown said the funds are intended to help the three countries recover from the impact of the Ebola crisis, and to advance their long-term development needs.
Mr. Browne further announced additional commitments of US$300 million from the African Development Bank, US$80 million from GAVI and US$387 million from the Global Fund through 2017, as part of the support for the affected countries.”
He said these commitments are in addition to committed funding to the EVD response and recovery efforts from the United States, the United Kingdom and many other development partners, and represent a substantial investment or down payment in support of the national plans.
“The priority areas of the US$650 million will be strengthening health systems and frontline care, agriculture, education, cash transfers and other social protection programs as well as lifesaving infrastructure such as electricity, water, sanitation and roads.”
According to him, the new funds will also be used to develop a regional disease surveillance system across West Africa to help prevent or contain future pandemics.
Minister Brown further stressed that the Liberian delegation and partners emphasized the immediate importance of “getting to zero” to facilitate the early recovery before the rainy season.
“He also announced the establishment of a set of cross-cutting priorities including infection prevention and control in all facilities, as well as surveillance and integrated data management and communications systems.”
The Information Minister also announced that the funds will support the reestablishment of essential services, especially services that facilitate the response such as maternal and child health, family planning, routine immunization and HIV, TB, malaria services and also creating an ongoing research agenda to address new and emerging risks in Ebola.
“Importantly,” he said, the development partners have also committed themselves to align their support with agreed country plans and priorities under the leadership of national governments with concrete mechanisms for coordination at the country level.”
Said Minister Brown, the Liberian government will continue to prioritize the building of a resilient health system which will depend crucially on increasing the availability and strengthening of pre-service and in-service training, deployment and safety of frontline health workers.
“We will also focus particularly on rural areas, by investing in reforms that expand the role of community health workers and community-owned and trusted health services especially in underserved communities,” Minister Brown maintained.