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|W/ Bank Clears Liberia’s US$400,000,000 Arrears|
|Published on December 06, 2007||Email To Friend Print Version
The World Bank and Liberia have completed arrangements for the clearance of all of Liberia’s arrears to the former. The arrangement was reached yesterday.
The arrears amounted to more than US$400m. Liberia had been in arrears to the World Bank for more than twenty-one years, since 1986.
As a result of these steps and others in recent weeks, Liberia’s debts to the World Bank have been reduced by over $500 million, a Finance Ministry Release.
The clearance of the arrears to the Bank - and to other multilateral agencies in the weeks ahead - means that Liberia will be able to begin the process of obtaining debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries’ (LUPC) Initiative.
“This is a momentous day for Liberia, yet another signal that the international community recognizes the progress made by the Government on the reform agenda and is willing to assist Liberia in freeing itself of the debt burdens of the past,” the release stated.
Over the past few months, including during the Annual Meetings of the World Bank in October, President Sirleaf has led a vigorous campaign for Liberia’s debt relief, supported by Finance Minister Antoinette Sayeh.
The Finance Ministry said “this historic day would not be possible without the support of the World Bank and the many nations of the world who are its shareholders.”
The clearance of the arrears heralds a new chapter in Liberia’s relations with the Bank, one that will allow it to fully benefit from resources from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance its reconstruction and development program.
The release concluded that the Government continues to work with the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund with the view to having the arrears to both institutions cleared by late-January 2008.