Security Tops Budget

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf yesterday submitted the Draft National Budget for 2015/2016 to the National Legislature with the security sector toping health and education.

In the draft national budget, the Executive allotted an amount of US$73.0 million; Education Sector Support US$79.4 million and Security & Rule of Law (US$90.1 million), including (US$15 million for UNMIL Transition), as First Claims on the resource envelop.

Along with the approval of the projected resource envelop, the Cabinet also agreed that key areas of expenditure will include debt repayment (US$32.5 million); payment of salaries across the government (US$252.1 million); Social Development Fund and other pass through (US$23.2 million); Health Sector Strengthening (US$73.0 million); Education Sector Support (US$79.4 million) and Security & Rule of Law (US$90.1 million), including (US$15 million for UNMIL Transition), as First Claims on the resource envelop.

Other key areas of funding agreed by the Cabinet include the Government of Liberia’s (GoL) contribution (Counterpart Funding) to ongoing donor financed public investment projects through loans and grants (US$24.5 million), as well as, GoL’s Grants and Transfers to various institutions and entities (US$85.7 million) that contribute to Liberia’s socio-economic reconstruction.

In support of major Public Sector Investments intended to advance Liberia’s post-Ebola recovery, growth, and development, the Cabinet agreed to fund road construction and maintenance (US$44.3 million, including US$17.3 million as GoL’s contribution to donor funded projects), renovation of public buildings (US$9 million); expansion of electricity (US$2.4 million); district development projects throughout the country – through the National Legislature (US$10.9 million); water & sanitation (US$2.3 million); beach & waterways cleaning (US$1 million); human capacity building (US$2 million); private sector development (US$1.5 million); National Low Cost Housing Project (US$1.5 million); LWSC Water Project (US$1.0 million); renovation works at BWI (US$1 million); renovation works at Tubman University (US$1 million); and a host of other key interventions critical for the delivery of social services and economic transformation.

Many Liberians have expressed serious concern about the health sector following the devastating effect of the deadly Ebola virus that ravaged every sector of the society. Liberians want government to priority the health sector to avoid any reoccurrence of the virus or other diseases.