Strengthening Fiscal Discipline and Advancing Transparency and Accountability in Liberia
October 22, 2012
Project to Reduce Corruption and Poverty; Enhance Revenue Mobilization and Administration; and Support Public Financial Reform Agenda
Monrovia, October 22, 2012 – The Government of Liberia, the World Bank and other international development partners today launched the US$28.55m Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP) to assist Liberia to expand and deepen the scope of reforms relevant for advancing accountability, transparency and reduction of corruption in public institutions.
This project, which was ratified by the 53rd Liberian Legislature in June 2012, will work towards improving budget coverage, fiscal policy management, financial control and oversight of government’s finances. Other areas being addressed by this Integrated PFM Reformed Project include: strengthening the PFM legal framework; enhancing budget planning systems, coverage and credibility; and strengthening revenue mobilization and administration, program governance and project management.
“This project supports the implementation of the Government of Liberia’s Public Financial Management Reform Strategy, approved in July, 2011, and seeks to widen and strengthen the public financial management system of the Liberian Government,” Ms. Inguna Dobraja, World Bank Country Manager for Liberia said. She added: “The project will pursue concrete improvements in selected systems, procedures, and resources, in a manner that would enable Liberia to gradually develop its own institutional, organizational, and human resource capacities in the next three to four years consistent with the Bank’s broader agenda in improving governance.”
The Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project is a fine example of a well-coordinated donor support arrangement which responds to the Government of Liberia-led public sector reform agenda. The World Bank is lending $5m out of the overall $28.55m project cost. The project will be jointly co-financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) in the equivalent amount of US$15.10 million; the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) - US$3.85 million; and the African Development Bank (AfDB) - US$4.6 million. Sida and USAID financing will be channeled through a World Bank-administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), and the AfBD will coordinate its disbursements with the other development partners.
Thanking the World Bank and development partners for the support in strengthening the country’s financial management capacity, Liberia’s Finance Minister Amara Konneh said: “Our greatest fiscal challenge lies in focusing on the expenditure of cash inflows from domestic revenue and from donors on established priorities.” Minister Konneh emphasized that, “the better we can manage our public finances, the better we can deliver on our poverty reduction and job creation agenda.”
The project is consistent with, and aligned to Liberia’s recently concluded Poverty Reduction Strategy and the new strategy, the Agenda for Transformation, which is in its final stages of preparation. The project is also anchored in the World Bank’s governance and anti-corruption agenda that forms the foundation for the World Bank Africa Strategy.
About the International Development Association:
The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries. Established in 1960, IDA aims to reduce poverty by providing interest-free credits and grants for programs that boost economic growth, reduce inequalities, and improve people’s living conditions. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. It is the single largest source of donor funds for basic social services in the poorest countries. IDA lends money (known as credits) on concessional terms. IDA credits have zero or very low interest charges, and repayments are stretched over 25 to 40 years, including a 5 to 10-year grace period. IDA also provides grants to countries at risk of debt distress.