The Government of Liberia Multi-year Budget proposal has received its first historic allocation of 55 million Euros from the European Union (EU).
According to a Finance Ministry press release, the 55 million Euros is scheduled to be disbursed towards the Liberia RISING 2030, the agenda for transformation through action.
The 55 Million Euros, the press release stated, will be disbursed as general budget support toward the health and Educational sectors through the three year budget the Ministry of Finance is currently formulating in fulfillment of the Public Financial Management (PFM) law sector 8.
Speaking Monday, March 26, 2012 during the signing ceremony in Monrovia, Finance Minister Amara Konneh explained that the objective of using the Budget support modality is to strengthen Liberia’s financial systems, protect and promote social expenditure in areas that will accelerate economic growth and human development.
In line with this goal, Minister Konneh indicated, the government and the European Union are aiming to make the EU Budget support more predictable and aligned to the government budgeting cycle, and disburse funds at the beginning or in the first half of the fiscal year.
The Liberia Finance Minister, who termed the allocation of the European Union as a good news for Liberia, mentioned that in keeping with the disbursement schedule they require commitment from both the Government of Liberia and the EU to prepare the required documentation on time and start the preparation as soon as possible.
However, he noted that the Department of Budget under Deputy Minister Sebastian Muah will coordinate the completion of the process with the EU delegation in Liberia, while the Ministry of Health and other line Ministries will complete President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s first multi- year budget proposal which she intends to submit to the Legislature next month.
At the same time, Minister Konneh disclosed that the Government of Liberia is committed to working on furthering coordination and harmonization with other Budget Donors in terms of disbursement of schedule and framework. Minister Konneh stressed that the ministry of Finance will take the lead in Donor Coordination.
The Liberian finance Minister also lauded the European Union through its Ambassador accredited to Liberia Attilio Pacifici for agreeing to increase the Budget support package to Liberia and assured that the funds being signed for in the agreement will be committed before the 31st of December as per the requirement.
Responding, EU Ambassador to Liberia, Attilio Pacifici, urged the Government of Liberia to Utilize the Budget for the benefit of its citizens.
Ambassador Pacifici, who termed 2012 as a special year for the EU, said government Vision 2030 is an extremely good exercise and there is a possibility for the EU to continue its support toward the budget of the Liberian Government.
But he clarified that the 55 million Euros is a grant from the European Union gear toward critical areas of support in Liberia and there exist possibility for the EU to continue its support to Liberia as in pre-war years.
The European Union Ambassador accredited to Liberia added that the grant is a partnership with the Government of Liberia for the enhancement of its development initiatives.