The US Government on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 hosted the 2021 Government of Liberia-United States Agency for International Development (USAID) portfolio review, which brought together representatives from 12 Liberian ministries and 12 associated Liberian organizations to discuss current and future foreign assistance programming for Liberia.
The US delegation was led by US Ambassador Michael McCarthy who welcomed USAID’s counterparts from across the Liberian Government to the important discussion.
Ambassador McCarthy issued a challenge to the group, stating, “I urge both delegations to mark achievements to date and address the challenges to implementation that hinder the accomplishment of development objectives.”
The Liberian delegation was led by the Augustus Flomo, Deputy Minister for Economic Management at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, who noted “the US Government remains a strong partner and is always prepared to support Liberia in its development programs and agenda. We believe a stronger coordination will yield better results through alignment of funding to critical areas, monitoring and results tracking, and promotion of sustainability.”
He encouraged the team to continue working closely together in serving the people of Liberia.
USAID and Government of Liberia staff provided updates about key program milestones, challenges to implementation, and plans for future activities.
USAID Mission Director Sara Walter noted that, “USAID currently receives approximately $125 million per year to support development objectives in Liberia focused on private sector led economic growth to move the country forward on its path leading to self-reliance. Our partnership with the people and the Government of Liberia is critical to realizing success in advancing equitable prosperity and development for all Liberians.”
Typically held in November or December, the annual Liberia-USAID Portfolio Reviews were delayed due to COVID-19 health protocols and planning disruptions.
The joint session was conducted in person for a limited number of participants, while most of the representatives joined remotely to respect the need for social distancing.
In Liberia, USAID programming is focused on four technical areas: 1) Democracy, Rights and Governance, 2) Economic Growth, 3) Education, and 4) Health.
Projects are aligned with the Government of Liberia’s Pro-Poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development, US Congressional directives, and the priorities of the Biden-Harris Administration.
The USAID portfolio currently includes active projects valued at more than $500 million in total.
The annual Government of Liberia-USAID Portfolio Review provided an opportunity for both governments to discuss the assistance programs funded by USAID, identify mutual goals in each sector, and decide upon action items needed in the coming months.
The US Government expressed gratitude for the enduring relationship between the two countries and values the broad range of critical relationships with the Liberian government, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector, which are all essential to the development of Liberia.