Gov’t, Partners Sign US$9.5 Million Financing Agreements
MONROVIA – The Government of Liberia and development partners AFD, Sweden, and World Bank signed additional partnership financing agreements totaling $9.5 million to support the REAL project.
The financing agreement aims to increase access to income-earning opportunities for vulnerable individuals in the informal sectors, respond to crises, expand income and livelihood support to impoverished and food-insecure households, and improve the efficiency of managing social protection programs in Liberia.
The project includes activities such as providing cash-for-work initiatives to enhance food production, developing community infrastructure, and supporting local cooperatives to facilitate community access to markets.
Honorable Samuel D. Tweah Jr., Minister of Finance and Development Planning, spoke on behalf of the Government of Liberia and expressed gratitude to the French government for their continuous support to Liberia since President Weah’s visit to France in 2018.
Minister Tweah highlighted the substantial growth of France’s bilateral support to Liberia over the past five years, particularly in youth development. He emphasized the government’s commitment to cooperation and collaboration with France, Sweden, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank to foster strong partnerships for national growth and development.
The government of Sweden has been a critical partner for the past five years, notably in the area of governance and their notable feudal road program.
“I have requested the Ministry of Public Works to compile a comprehensive report on feudal road projects undertaken in various counties over the last five years, to showcase the impact in different parts of the country, particularly in places like Nimba and Bong counties,” explained Minister Tweah.
He further stressed the need for necessary investments in agriculture and the redesigning of different projects to reach a wider segment of the population if a significant impact on reducing poverty is to be made.
Minister Tweah emphasized that providing opportunities for young people in sustainable communities affected by COVID-19 to earn their livelihoods is the true path to poverty reduction in the country. He expressed satisfaction with the signing of the agreement, stating that it would address this process and welcomed the restructuring of REALISE to ensure that road connectivity for improved agriculture movement and other programs performs well.
French Ambassador to Liberia, Honorable Michal Roux, expressed his privilege in representing AFD and supporting the economic empowerment of people living in vulnerable rural areas.
He explained that this initiative would provide employment opportunities for vulnerable youth, enabling them to engage in communal farming, and small-scale community businesses, and have better access to local markets.
The REALISE project will be co-financed by the World Bank, Sweden, and France, and implemented by the Government of Liberia to support the Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
The signing ceremony celebrates France’s renewed commitment to the youth of Liberia and the collaboration with the World Bank and Sweden. AFD’s complementary funding will focus on the development of community livelihoods in rural areas, primarily in Bong, Bomi, Lofa, and Gbarpolu counties.
This includes the provision of cash-for-work initiatives to enhance food production, support community development plans, and facilitate market linkages through local cooperatives. The REALISE project, totaling $42 million, is supported by the World Bank, France, and Sweden, and implemented by the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, and the Liberia Agency for Community Empowerment.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Honorable Minister Samuel D. Tweah Jr., Minister D. Zeogar Wilson, French and AFD representatives, including H.E. the Ambassador of France, Mr. Michaël Roux, AFD Country Director, Mr. Christophe Cottet, and the Embassy of Sweden, represented by H.E. the Ambassador Urban Sjöström. The World Bank Acting Country Manager, Mr. Mack Capehart Mulbah, was also present.