In a first, the European Union has provided USD8.59 million worth of direct budgetary support to Liberia.
The money is intended to help Liberia address the USD60 million gap in its budget for fiscal 2009-2010, the Informer reports.
This was the first time the EU extended direct budgetary assistance to Liberia, according to Deputy Information Minister for Public Affairs Jorolinmek Piah. The majority of foreign assistance to Liberia was previously channeled through non-governmental organizations. Governmental officials said the shift emerged after Liberia completed the requirements for eligibility to the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
Meanwhile, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs Amara Konneh, Millennium Challenge Corp. Senior Advisor Cassandra Butts, U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Linda Thomas-Greenfield and U.S. Agency for International Development Mission Director Pamela White have signed the USD15 million threshold program the MCC board approved for Liberia on May 27.
As Devex reported, the grant will focus primarily on land rights, trade, and girls’ education policy. It will be administered by USAID.