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Fourteen years of civil war makes achieving the Millennium Development Goals a daunting challenge for Liberia that will require more rapid progress over the next ten years than anywhere else in the world. The war essentially destroyed the country’s infrastructure and significantly eroded the once considerable human capital base. Despite richness in natural resources, the government does not have the basic capacity for economic management and remains incapable of providing basic services to the population, given the lack of financial and human resources. Against this background, the government has launched an ambitious transitional development programme that is focusing on consolidating national peace and positioning the nation on a path of sustained poverty reduction through economic growth and human development.
Poverty in Liberia has spread and deepened over the past decades. It is estimated that 76% of the population live below the poverty line of US$1 a day and 52% even live in extreme poverty of under US$0.50 a day. Liberia's national development strategy is part of a long term strategy "The National Vision: Liberia Rising 2030" aimed at reaching middle income status by 2030 and is based on four priorities (i) peace, security and rule of law, (ii) infrastructure and economic transformation, (iii) human development and (iv) governance and public institutions.
The Country Strategy Paper for Liberia (2008-2013) presents the strategic framework for EC co-operation with Liberia under the 10th EDF. Assistance will concentrate on the rehabilitation of basic physical infrastructure and the provision of social services such as education and health as well as on governance issues, in particular providing institutional support and strengthening the capacity of public institutions. Actions will also take account of cross-cutting issues, primarily capacity building, conflict-sensitive development and human rights, youth, environment as well as HIV/AIDS.
The multi-annual indicative programme for Liberia under the 10th EDF amounts to €219.06 million to address these priorities.
Since 1990 Liberia has received more than €240 million of EC support. For the period 2003–2009 financial resources of €50 million were initially made available from the 9th EDF to support the peace process and to finance a post-conflict rehabilitation and capacity-building programme. After the inauguration of the new Government of Liberia in January 2006, an additional €68.4 million was made available. Of this, €12 million was earmarked for the education sector.
The four-year County Development Programme (€25 million) aims to develop basic services and income generation to develop larger scale infrastructure and to ensure access to safe water in Monrovia as well as to rehabilitate critical sections of rural roads, to improve institutional support and local governance to foster local development.
The Institutional Support and Capacity Building Programme (€7.4 million) focuses on sustained institutional capacity building, governance, increasing revenues, fighting corruption as well as support to the health sector.
Another programme will rehabilitate the electricity grid of Monrovia, bringing light to large parts of the city.
Other sources of information
For more information on EU relations with Liberia and further details on projects and programmes in Liberia funded from the European Development Fund (EDF) and the general budget of the EU, please contact the Delegation of the European Union to Liberia, which is responsible for co-operation activities in the country.