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World Bank, European Commission Sign US$80 Million Agreement for Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund

September 23, 2010

MONROVIA, September 23, 2010―The World Bank and the European Commission (EC) today signed an agreement for US$80 million (Euro 60 million) contribution to the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF). The EC contribution to the LRTF will provide much-needed financing toward rehabilitating and maintaining two primary road corridors in Liberia, as well as help restore solid waste removal capacity in Monrovia ― two sectors that were in a state of near collapse following the end of Liberia’s civil conflict.

"The EC is pleased to contribute funding for the Government of Liberia’s priority of improving the country's infrastructure; particularly roads which open up markets and jump-start economic growth,” according to Mr. Attilio Pacifici, Head of Delegation of the European Commission in Liberia. He noted that the contribution reflects the EC’s willingness to channel resources through multi-donor pooled fund mechanisms.

Signing for the World Bank, the Country Manager Dr. Ohene Owusu Nyanin emphasized that “the Bank remains committed to Liberia’s reconstruction agenda by providing technical and financial assistance to the Government of Liberia and administering the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) on behalf of bi- and multi-lateral partners.”

Since its inception, the LRTF has mobilized significant financing and achieved concrete results on the ground.

The EC contribution to the LRTF follows contributions from Germany, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, DFID and the World Bank’s LICUS Trust Fund. Including the EC contribution, the LRTF has now received funding totaling US$167 million in signed commitments and pledges

The LRTF’s initial co-financing of the US$9.2 million to support rehabilitation of 15 km section of the Buchanan road (Cotton Tree – Bokay Town) has been substantially completed.  This one-year project has disbursed US$6.5 million.   Equally important, the LRTF Oversight Committee recently approved LRTF co-financing of US$140 million for a support of the completion of the Monrovia–Buchanan, as well as the Monrovia – Guinea Border road corridors.  In sum, the LRTF has leveraged significant financing – and results – to rehabilitate the main road corridors that are so critical to Liberia’s post-war recovery.

The LRTF is also supporting a project of US$18.4 million helping the Government of Liberia to help maintain and increase access to basic solid waste collection and disposal service in Monrovia. The support funds construction of sanitation infrastructure, the cost of operating the solid waste management system, as well as support to the Monrovia City Corporation to enhance its technical and financial capacity. About half of the population of the capital city benefits directly from the LRTF-funded intervention, while public health and the environment have been significantly improved.  This four-year project has disbursed a total of US$3.7 million.

The LRTF is supervised by an Oversight Committee, comprised of key ministers and representatives of Government, contributing donors, and other donors active in infrastructure as observers. The Oversight Committee is chaired by the Minister of Finance, Augustine Ngafuan and the World Bank Country Manager for Liberia, Ohene Owusu Nyanin.  Projects are proposed by the Government according to needs identified in the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.

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