Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara Konneh has extoled the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Christine Lagarde and her entourage for a prosperous two days visit to Liberia.
Minister Konneh says, the Government and people of Liberia are very much grateful to the IMF for the enormous assistance the Fund has given to Liberia, most especially when those assistance were needed as the IMF stood by Liberia during its horrifying days.
He noted that the IMF gallantly identified with Liberia when the country and its people were faced by one of the world’s greatest catastrophes which decimated thousands of people in Liberia.
“The IMF came to the call of the Liberian people through President Ellen Johnson Sirleafand provided massive economic support to prevent Liberia from total economic collapse as the killer virus severely crippled the Liberian economy.” Minister Konneh emphasized.
The Liberian Finance and Development Planning Minister commendation of the IMF’s roles in Liberia’s drive to defeat the Ebola disease was contained in a statement he delivered at the Monrovia City Hall during a Town Hall meeting with the IMF MD and delegates from a cross section of the Liberian society, which included government officials, Lawmakers, Women and Civil Society Organizations, the Private/Business Sector as well as traditional and student leaders.
Minister Konneh further indicated that although Liberia joined the IMF 1962, it was until the inception of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf administration in 2006, Liberia’s relationship with IMF was stimulated and has gone stronger on account of President Sirleaf’s credibility and international confidence, noting, “The President’s outstanding global record has brought so much global attention to Liberia with the massive IMF intervention.”
Minister Konneh disclosed that through Madam Lagarde’s leadership at the IMF, Liberia has received huge support to address recent health emergency, especially the disbursement of US$47.8 million and US$45.7 million through the ECF and RCF programs.
“This support, together with a strong domestic resources mobilization effort, and support of other partners particularly the World Bank and the African Development Bank, whose resources came through the National and Multi-donor public financial management systems, enable us to keep government operation moving during the epidemic, relatively stabilized the exchange rate, and the initial resources to implement our Economic Stabilization Recovery Plan,” the MFDP Minister noted.
Minister Konneh informed the gathering that support from the IMF humanitarian and development partners, the private sector, the various communities, civil society, and religious communitiesprovided critical assistance to saving the Liberian economy from a total collapse and helped to begin recovery.
Narrating Madam Lagardeachievements at the IMF, Minister Konneh indicated that in August 2011, she urged the European banks to recapitalize to meet the challenge of the region’s debt crisis.
The second he said, was her success in mobilizing nearly US$500 billion of new resources to prepare the Fund to respond to the future emergencies, stressing with showered of praises on the IMF MD, Minister Konneh emphasized “The IMF has made several other milestone achievements under Lagarde brilliant leadership, including efforts in funding remedies to the Greek Debt crisis.”
At the same time, while introducing the IMF MD during the Town Hall meeting at the Monrovia City Hall, Minister Konnehsaid Liberia will remain ever grateful to Dr. Sayeh, for her tremendous service to Liberia, particularly in tackling the large external debt of over US$4.6 billion.
“We continued to improve the leadership she helped to build with the Fund that led the government to agree upon the External Credit Facility (ECF) as a means of monitoring our economic performance and structural reforms, enhancing macroeconomic stability, and promoting sustainable economic growth and development.” Minister Konneh declared.
Dr. Sayeh who was the first Finance Ministry of the current administration of President Sirleaf,is now head of the IMF’s African Department.