WASHINGTON, June 17, 2021 – The World Bank Board of Directors today approved the second in a series of three single tranche Development Policy Operations for Inclusive Growth (IGDPO) aimed at supporting key reforms to enable inclusive growth in Liberia . The funding, in the amount of $ 40 million, is in the form of a concessional credit from the International Development Association (IDA) of $ 20 million and an IDA grant of $ 20 million. of dollars to be disbursed as budget support. The underlying reforms supported aim to eliminate distortions in certain sectors, enhance public sector transparency and promote economic and social inclusion.
“The continued implementation of essential policy reforms in sectors such as energy and agriculture helps to create an environment conducive to transformative investments made in these sectors by the government, with the support of development partners”, mentionned Dr. Khwima Nthara, Country Director of the World Bank in Liberia.
Building on the reforms supported under the first reform program approved last year, the main reforms of this second program should help increase agricultural productivity by promoting farmers’ access to certified seeds; reduce electricity theft and business losses at the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) by making electricity affordable for small consumers by reducing electricity tariffs for poor households from $ 0.385 / kWh to 0.22 $ / kWh in May 2021; streamline and increase the transparency of tax exemptions and, in turn, improve incomes to improve the delivery of public services, especially for poor households; strengthen the oversight and transparency of public enterprises (SEs); promote financial inclusion by amending the law on payments and introducing digital credit; and finally, create an effective, transparent and sustainable social safety net system.
“Strengthening domestic revenue mobilization, through reduced duty and tax exemptions, is essential to expand fiscal space for increasing locally financed public investment,” said Mamadou Ndione, Senior Economist at the World Bank and IGDPO Program Team Leader.
The reform programs supported are aligned with Liberia’s pro-poor agenda for prosperity and development and the World Bank Country Partnership Framework.
* The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and loans at low-to-zero interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor. IDA is one of the most important sources of assistance for the 76 poorest countries in the world, including 39 in Africa. IDA’s resources help make positive changes in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in countries eligible for assistance. Since its inception, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments are steadily increasing and have averaged $ 21 billion over the past three years, of which around 61% goes to Africa.