US$ 300M Confirmed for Liberia, But…
Contrary to the view of many Liberians that the US$ 520 million pledged by the donor countries in February 2004, would be coming directly into the coffers of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL), latest information gathered by this paper suggests that the money would be channeled through the international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) operating in Liberia rather than the government.
Speaking at the Roberts International Airport (RIA) in Margibi County over the weekend, during the arrival ceremony of the first group of Liberian refugees repatriated from Ghana by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the NTGL Vice Chairman, Wesley M. Johnson, disclosed that out of US$ 520 million pledged for Liberia by the donors, 300 million dollars has been confirmed by the international community and Liberia can now put programs together which this mount would cover.
This amount, according to him, will not come directly to the Liberian Government but through INGOs. “Let me hasten to say to you that this amount is not coming to Liberian Government. This amount is for Liberia and Liberians but will be channeled through the international NGOs in close collaboration with the Liberian Government and its people,” Vice Chairman Johnson emphasized.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman indicated that the NTGL this year February went to New York and proclaimed its needs for support from the international community to achieve priority goals and outcomes as enshrined in the Result Focused Transitional Framework (RFTF) to “help enrich structuring the damaged fabrics of our country.”
Observers view this economic policy as a political pendulum of which one can hardly decide given the unfolding economic realities. The NTGL itself is saddled with corruption making it subjects to have little confidence should it be the custodian of the funds, while the international NGOs are not playing their ball game well when it comes to utilizing the funds given them for Liberia’s postwar reconstruction. Many of the international NGOs are bogus ones – using Liberia nowadays as a “gold field” for getting money from the international community.