MONROVIA, July 21, 2011 - The Liberian Government and the World Bank have signed an agreement totaling an estimated US$249 million for the rehabilitation of the approximately 249-kilometer Monrovia (Red Light)-Gbarnga-Ganta-Guinea border road. This Liberia Road Asset Management Project (LIBRAMP) also provides for the maintenance of the road over a 10-year period.
The objective of the project is to support Liberia’s efforts to reduce transport costs and travel time along the road corridor from Monrovia to the Guinea border and to maintain the road in good condition over a 10-year period. Currently, much of the road corridor is severely deteriorated and some sections are not readily passable during the rainy season, thereby greatly undermining transport efficiency, reliability, safety and comfort of road users.
The total estimated project cost is US$249 million, of which about US$176 million is being provided from International Development Association -IDA (approx. US$68 million) through its credit to Liberia, and approximately US$109 million grant from the multi-donor Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund (LRTF) administered by the World Bank. The Oversight Committee (OC) of the LRTF has already approved the project concept and committed funds to co-finance the proposed project, through contributions and pledges received from the governments of Germany, Sweden, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Norway, the European Commission and the World Bank.
Signing for the Liberian Government, Finance Minister Augustine Ngafuan thanked the World Bank and other Development Partners for funding this road project. Minister Ngafuan described the project as: “a significant milestone in Liberia’s quest to reduce hardship on its population and boost trade and commerce with other parts of Liberia and neighbouring countries. He pledged the Liberian Government’s commitment in achieving the full objectives of this Road Asset Management Project.
The World Bank Country Manager for Liberia, Mr. Ohene Owusu Nyanin, who signed on behalf of IDA, commended the Liberian Government for prioritizing the rehabilitation of basic infrastructure as published in its first full Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). “The PRS articulates the GOL priorities for re-establishing of the basic infrastructure, primarily rebuilding of the road network that was extensively damaged during years of war,” he said.
Mr. Nyanin noted that the World Bank has actively supported the GOL’s efforts for recovery since the war ended in key aspects of the PRS. He added that combining funds from IDA and LRTF, more than US$300 million has been invested in or committed for rebuilding of transport infrastructure. “This project marks a further deepening of the Bank’s support to Liberia,” the World Bank Country Manager intimated.
The LIBRAMP sets the medium and long term goals for the road sector. The policies and strategies developed draw on innovative international practices and adapt these to the particulars of Liberia by providing a platform for the continued building of institutional and managerial capacity in the road sector. The primary beneficiaries of the project are common Liberian road users whose travel time and transport cost will be reduced as a result of road improvement. Terms of lending of this project has a standard IDA credit terms with a maturity of 40 years, including a grace period of 10 years, whereas the LRTF provides grants to Liberia.