President Sirleaf makes opening remarks during the closed-door meeting on Thursday, September 10, 2015 (2)
Monrovia, Liberia – The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms Christine Lagarde has assured President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf that the IMF will continue to support Liberia stabilize and improve its economy.
“We were there at that time and we will continue to be by your side in your effort to not only stabilize but develop the economy,” she promised.
According to an Executive Mansion release, the IMF Managing Director gave the assurance when she jointly addressed a press stakeout with President Sirleaf in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a meeting with government’s Economic Management Team on Thursday, September 10, 2015. Ms. Lagard, at the head of a high-level IMF delegation, is in the country on a two-day visit.
Ms. Lagard stressed that her visit to Liberia was to specifically deliver three messages.
She first extended warm hearted congratulations to the Liberian President and the country, under whose leadership they successfully fought and defeated the Ebola virus disease. “Together with the support of the international community, we managed to defeat, I hope for good, this terrible disease,” she said, praising the efforts of the communities and the Liberian people for the splendid job. She urged the Liberian leader to continue to ensure that the disease is eradicated for good.
The IMF Managing Director also urged President Sirleaf to continue to stabilize the economy noting that Liberia’s economy has suffered on account of the decline in the global commodity prices which got worse during the period of the Ebola virus disease. She urged the Liberian leader to stay the course since the country has a roadmap and a plan.
Ms Lagard reassured the government that the IMF will continue to cooperate in the rebuilding process of Liberia. She outlined the IMF’s support to Liberia at the most difficult time it was needed including putting together resources very promptly. “The IMF was by your side at the time that it was needed. We put together resources very promptly,” she indicated, noting that US$130 million of new financing and debt relief was promptly delivered.
Providing a breakdown, the IMF Managing Director said US$47.8 million was provided as ECF increase; US$45.6 million from the Rapid Credit Facility; and US$36.5 million of debt relief in the form of grants.
Ms. Lagard said the IMF will continue to assist Liberia get the economy is back on track to ensure that the government delivers on its Agenda for Transformation.
Speaking earlier, President Sirleaf praised the IMF, especially its Managing Director, for the partnership demonstrated during the Ebola crisis in Liberia which was “nothing short of extraordinary”.
“You went beyond the call of duty, your speared tradition and convention as you responded with support that enabled our facilities to be able to keep moving our economy to continue to function,” the Liberian leader stressed.
She thanked Ms. Lagard, who’s visiting Liberia for the first time, and informed her that together with other partners they’ve been able to reinforce hope and confidence in the nation’s ability to continue the policies, contain the virus and to once again embark on the country’s reconstruction efforts.
“Today, we know that we have to continue to be precautious, we have to take all the necessary measures; we have the confidence that we are able to contain this virus and that we can now travel full force in moving our economy and our nation along,” she assured, adding, “For all of that, we thank you, our partners, your staff, and all those who have joined us in the success and the progress that we have today.”
Ms. Lagard’s visit continues Friday, September 11, 2015, when she meets the leadership of the 53rd National Legislature at the Capitol Building. She will later address members of the Cabinet, Diplomatic Corps as well as other development partners, Civil Society Goups and the General Public at the Monrovia City Hall Theater. She will visit the YWCA in Congo Town before departing Liberia later in the evening.
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