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Liberia, UN And World Bank Sign $4 Million Deal

Liberia, UN And World Bank Sign $4 Million Deal to Rehabilitate Roads, Boost Economy

New York, Nov 30 2006 7:00PM

As part of continued United Nations assistance to help Liberia rebuild after 14 years of brutal civil war, the world body has signed a landmark agreement involving the Government and the World Bank to rehabilitate three major roads, costing an estimated $3.7 million and creating employment for almost 5,000 workers.

“Roads produce jobs, they generate income, they open up trade, they encourage markets and they bring security,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Alan Doss said after yesterday’s signing ceremony.

The deal was agreed between the Ministry of Public Works, the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), and will involve UNDP managing funding provided by the World Bank, while the UN mission will supply engineers and machinery.

The agreement covers roads from Foya to Voinjama, Ganta to Tappita and Zwedru to Fishtown and follows similar joint UN projects elsewhere in the country. During the signing ceremony, World Bank Country Manager for Liberia, Luigi Giovine, said the project was part of an overall strategy aimed at better helping Liberia reconstruct.

“The alliance between the Government, the United Nations and the World Bank in executing these works represents a new phase of the Bank’s rapid response to crises in the construction and employment generation areas,” he said.

Expressing UNDP’s commitment to collaborate on this initiative, Country Director Steven Ursino said the common endeavour brings out the comparative advantages that each of the organizations can bring to Liberia’s infrastructure development.

“We will also be responding to the dire need to create employment and generate income in remote areas outside Monrovia,” Mr. Ursino said, referring to Liberia’s capital.

Speaking on behalf of the Government, the Acting Minister of Public Works, Luseni Donzo expressed his appreciation to the World Bank and the UN for coming together under one umbrella to enhance the rehabilitation of the country.

UNMIL, established by the Security Council three years ago to support the peace process after a ceasefire between the warring factions, has played a multifaceted role in overseeing Liberia’s transition from the ravages of civil war, culminating in the inauguration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in January – the first woman elected to lead an African nation.


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