European Union External Action

European Union provides nearly USD 6.9 million to Liberia at the time to fight the coronavirus pandemic

02/06/2020 - 13:02
News stories

The European Union transferred a non-reimbursable grant amounting to EUR 6.25 million (nearly USD 6.9 million) to the Government of Liberia in the second half of May. The grant arrived on May 29, 2020 in the revenue account of the Government to support the budget of the Republic of Liberia.

This was the third payment under the EU's budget support programme called "Moving Liberia forward – Improving service delivery and public investment". Disbursement of this payment comes after a fast-track approval by the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development.

Ambassador Hélène Cavé, Head of the European Union Delegation to Liberia, said: "Our central services in Brussels approved the disbursement of EUR 6.25 million in record speed in the light of urgent needs caused by the COVID pandemic. This is indeed very good news for Liberians. We hope that this budget support will help the Government deal with the health and economic challenges and reduce the hardship of Liberians during the current state of emergency." She continued "Last year the government took two courageous and necessary steps reforming the Government's wage system and signing up to a program with the International Monetary Fund. I am very happy that the Liberia Anti-Corruption Agency checked that public officials correctly declared their assets and that the Liberia Revenue Authority raised outstanding money from forestry." She added "I would like express my heartfelt thanks the Liberian Government for the close cooperation with the European Union which allowed for the rapid processing."

Frequently asked questions

What is the EU?

EU stands for the European Union. Today the EU is made up of 27European countries that aim to promote common interests of its member states.

With whom does the EU work?

The EU does not work with its member states alone. It also works with other friendly countries around the world. The EU is a friend of Liberia.

How does the EU work with Liberia?

The EU helps Liberia through budget support to the government. It also gives money for development projects across the country for example for farming, learning, roads and current.

What is budget support?

Budget support is money the EU gives to the Liberian government to add up to the national budget.

What is the national budget?

The national budget is the financial plan for a country’s government. The budget states how much money the government intends to spend during a year, what it plans to spend it on, and where it believes to get the money from to pay for that spending.

How does the EU give budget support to Liberia?

The EU asks the Liberian government to take certain positive steps before it gives any budget support. These steps are called the general and specific conditions. The EU checks carefully that the conditions have been met and then sends the money to the bank account of the government.

What are the general conditions?

The general conditions for EU budget support are always the same. Government needs to

  • Make a national plan to develop the country and carry it out as planned;
  • Take wise measures to improve the overall economy;
  • Write a strategy how to better manage the government’s finances and then take action;
  • Inform citizens about the budget

What are the specific conditions and has Liberia met them?

The government work for the EU budget support on specific conditions in these areas of focus from 2018 to 2020

  • Raise money locally from forestry: The Liberia Revenue Authority collected a bit more than 74% of outstanding forestry area fees. This means that more than USD 11 million of old forestry taxes have been added to the national budget.
  • Make doing business across the borders easier: major efforts undertaken to improve World Bank Doing Business sub-indicator on border compliance times for import
  • Use the national budget to deliver quality services as planned: 97% report on the achievements in fiscal year 2018/2019 and 99% of all spending entities informed about their objectives for the fiscal year 2019/2020 budget. This means that Liberians can read about how the government spent and intends to spend public money and hold ministries and agencies responsible.
  • Deliver services for example birth certificates, marriage certificates, deed registration, vehicle registration in counties for citizens to benefit: major efforts undertaken towards a standardised collection of data.
  • Control and prevent corruption when buying goods and contracting services: major efforts undertaken to publish procurement plans on the internet to inform interested companies.
  • Check that public officials have correctly declared their assets (this is the amount of money they have, properties they own and so on): The Liberia Anti-Corruption Commission published a report on the verification of asset declarations on their website. This means that Liberians can read about what the LACC has found and the authorities can further examine if there is a case of ill-gotten wealth.  
  • How much money will Liberia get if the Conditions are met?

    At most € 24 million

  • 2018 – € 6 million if the general conditions are met – The government received € 6 million.
  • 2019 – € 3 million if the general conditions are met and € 1 million for each specific condition that is met. – The government received € 3 million plus € 2.75 million for fully and partially met specific conditions.
  • 2020 – € 3 million if the general conditions are met and € 1 million for each specific condition that is met - With this payment the government receives € 3 million plus € 3.25 million for fully and partially met specific conditions.
  • Budget Support explained in 1 minute & 18 seconds

    Watch the video: https://europa.eu/capacity4dev/macro-eco_pub-fin/discussions/budget-support-explained-1-minute-18-seconds-0 (1 minute and 18 seconds)

 

Editorial Sections: