Liberia Poised to Benefit US$10 Billion COVID-19 Pandemic Support Package from Member Countries

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Joining the AIIB presents an opportunity for Liberia to continue to expand its cooperation with the community of Development Finance institutions (DFIs) around the world.

— As AIIB Board approves country’s membership

The Board of Governors of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved Liberia’s membership at its Fifth Annual Meeting held in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Liberia’s approval follows a formal application made on April 13, 2020 by the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).

This approval, according to the Ministry of Finance, comes as President George Manneh Weah seeks to expand Liberia’s global economic leadership and presence to foster regional cooperation, economic development and integration.

Joining the AIIB presents an opportunity for Liberia to continue to expand its cooperation with the community of Development Finance institutions (DFIs) around the world.

Minister Tweah, who attended the virtual Annual Meeting, said he believes the country’s membership in the AIIB will definitely bring huge benefits and opportunities in terms of external resources mobilization to boost President Weah’s and the country’s infrastructure and economic transformation in line with the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).

Accordingly, debt burden of countries is becoming acute, and Liberia looks more to creative financing options and instruments availed by the Bank, to syndication and collaborations with other DFIs to deliver public private partnerships to fund large national and regional projects with huge economic impacts, including roads, power, ports and health systems strengthening and water and sanitation.

Liberia as a member is expected to benefit from projects financing that has a value of more than 20 to 30 times the total value of the investment the country makes in the bank, as the AIIB could hold equity share in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) venture in roads or energy development or in projects of similar nature.

With the membership approved, Liberia stands to benefit from the announced US$10 billion COVID-19 pandemic support package for member countries.

According to a release from the Ministry of Information Cultural Affairs and Tourism, the Liberian Government is particularly delighted to see that AIIB has already joined other multilateral development banks like the World Bank (WB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in their Covid-19 response by creating a Crisis Recovery Facility (CRF) to support members and clients in alleviating and mitigating economic, financial and public health pressures arising from COVID-19.

“Liberia as a small and developing country is no stranger to the deadly impact that a pandemic can wreak on a nation’s people and economy especially when they are ill prepared,” the MICAT release added. “The Ebola outbreak hit the already fragile healthcare system very hard and collapsed the struggling economy. Five years on, the country is barely recovering and now are again faced with the Covid-19.

“Liberia will also leverage its membership within the bank to attract Asian investors and development financing into the country, especially at a time the country needs all the investments it can get in the post-COVID-19 era.”

The country’s accession is subject to the National Legislature ratification.

The country, the release disclosed, is looking forward to working with the bank to explore opportunities for resolving major development and infrastructure challenges and confronting other African countries, in the form of large road and electricity infrastructure deficits, climate change and challenges to perfecting digital economic frontier.

The AIIB is also expected to partner with the MDBs to develop regional projects in the Mano river region. Liberia is presently exploring possibilities for regional projects with Guinea, Sierra Leone or the Ivory Coast.

Minister Tweah thanked the Board of Governors, the Management and shareholders of the AIIB for “according Liberia the opportunity to join the bank and will work with the bank under the CRF to strengthen the supply chain, access and distribution capabilities of our health care system, which we see as critical to our Covid19 response strategy.”

He used the occasion to thank President George M. Weah for his leadership in Liberia’s economic and infrastructure transformation.

In addition, he thanked his team and other actors who worked tirelessly to actualize Liberia’s membership efforts within the bank. The country’s accession is subject to the National Legislature ratification.

AIIB will now be a member of Liberia’s group of traditional development partners such as the WB, the IMF, the IFC and AfDB and ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID). “With this addition, there are bigger opportunities for collaboration and importantly a space where AIIB will actively complement the efforts of existing partners,” the release said.

The AIIB is a US $100 billion international financial institution that was established as a significant and prestigious multilateral development bank (MDB) in 2016 to improve social and economic development within the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world by investing in sustainable infrastructure development and other economic projects aimed at reducing poverty.

The bank currently has 102 countries as members, including Ghana, Guinea, Rwanda, Benin, Togo, Senegal, China, Canada, United Kingdom, etc. Since its inception, the bank has spent over US$19.14 billion on development project financing.

AIIB’s sovereign loan program, like those of other MDBs, is tailored to developing countries like Liberia that cannot afford borrowing from the international market at higher commercial non-concessionary lending rates. Loan maturity runs from 20 to 35 years.

4 COMMENTS

  1. An individual may wear the magnifying glasses of the highest intensity and still, he or she will not be able to identify what this report is really saying!

    Is the report saying that in the midst of America’s own severe economic crisis, she is about to bankroll Liberia’s domestic challenges in the tone of a whopping U.S. $10-billion dollars? Or, is it saying the countries of the Asiatic realm will grant the loans and America foots the bills on behave of Liberia?

    I beg Minister Tweah to break the jargon in this story down to common Liberian patois. Perhaps, we, the people with just under high school graduate papers will then be able to read and digest its logic.

    Other than that, many individuals who read for clarity and sensibility may just interpret this as another ploy to arouse CDC support in the midst of a pending and highly contestable election season.

  2. It is the same old secured 10 million US dollars, 25 million US dollars 40 million US as usual in loans or grants. Nothing more than that. As usual, the regime has not been able to properly and meaningfully utilized both the loans and grants. The country needs the whole package of the 10 billion US dollars. But to do what with it ? When it could not barely handled 30 million US dollars of its owned borrowed money and had to outsource it. Infrastructure developments outsourced to Lebanese. So what is the big deal , Mr. True or False Nationalist of the propaganda Ministry of Information ? The regime has handled 25 million US dollars before to mop-up the economy, and nothing happened. Got lost in the hopelessness of corruption practices. The regime is very much predictable when it comes to money. Another blah blah blah blah blah blah from the regime. O well.

  3. Mr. James Davis

    Hope you and the family had a very good 26 season. Mine went well.

    I am sure that you are disillusioned with the Weah regime based on the opinions you offered in your writings.

    I am very sure that you mean for this country, but I know that in your heart of hearts, you see some good coming out of this government.

    So my question to you, brother James Davis, is this: what are the good you see coming out of this government.

    I ask this question to you because sometimes you imply – i stand corrected – that those of us who voted in this government were not in our proper frame of mind when we did that and I can 100% assure you that i was in my proper frame of mind and that my five mental apparatus were intact

    This is not a trick question sir. i just want to know your thoughts and how we can collectively give this government a nudge in the right direction.

    Thank you Sir. Be blessed

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