In An Ebola-free Liberia, CHANGING OUR ATTITUDE, BEHAVIOR AND PRIORITIES IS A MUST

first_imgAnother educator over the weekend stepped forward to frame perhaps the most pivotal question, (subject, issue) under consideration by almost every Liberian here and abroad: “Why are we now confronted by a deadly virus that is determined to destroy the very fabric (structure, foundation) of our society?”Ambassador Dr. Mary Brownell, chair-person emeritus of the Universal Peace Federation, (Liberia chapter), undertook to answer her own question, based the on the maxim (proverb, saying) that everything happens for a reason.’She was speaking against the projection of a ‘post-Ebola Liberia,’ when nationals can no longer take life, government and progress for granted as the always have; instead, they must now roll up their sleeves to make things the way they want them to be—or should.“We probably need to take a critical look at ourselves both individually and collectively; we need to rethink our behavior, our attitude, and our national priorities: where have we gone wrong and how this epidemic could be an eye-opener for all—no matter the social level, the educator made it plain to those in attendance.“Have we placed emphasis on our health care system?” Dr. Brownell asked rhetorically. If so, how is it possible for this deadly disease to wreak (inflict, cause) such havoc on our existence, killing doctors, health care workers, and citizens?” she continued.“Is the system equipped to fight and control anything that develops because it has produced enough doctors and nurses? Do our practitioners have the necessary equipment in their laboratories?  Why do we not have health care centers in all of our counties, to meet the demands of citizens?”Shifting to education, Dr. Brownell wondered whether the society had used its natural resources responsibly, to provide instructional materials, build schools and vocational institutes, and train teachers.Reminding the audience that education was a ‘must’ when sustained growth and development of a society was concerned. Mother Brownell regretted that most of the society had not been educated when Ebola struck. Getting information across to the public about Ebola might not have been so problematic; needless to say, many precious lives also might have been spared,” she explained.       Fast and Prayer no AnswerOn another note, Dr. Brownell expressed the assurance that given their hope this contagion, (infection, virus) like others, will pass away sooner, rather than later. “We are neither discouraged nor doubtful, and can never give up hope. We are now thinking about peace and development, after the Ebola crisis.”But Rev. James Sellee, Rector of St. Thomas Episcopal Church took a slightly different view that was not intended to negate the faith dimension of God’s intervention in the affairs of men.“An opportunity for change is what this crisis has produced. Fasting and praying is not exactly the answer.  A post-Ebola effort could be hampered by an unwillingness on the part of this people, “…to be responsible. We need to show ourselves responsive by putting in the money required for improvement,” Dr. Sellee explained.“We forget about important things to our nation and people, thinking only of ourselves, when we come into wealth and power. We must think hard to change. We can change, and we must,” he admonished. “Peace, then, would emerge as a product of our minds and of our attitudes, in cooperation with our God—the author of all things,” Rev. Sellee concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Banks Committed to Fighting Ebola

first_imgThe Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) has assured the public of the banks’ commitment to the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.LBA president John B. S. Davies, III gave the assurance on Wednesday, September 10, when he appeared on ELBC Radio morning show. “The banking sector has been very supportive of the fight against Ebola. The sector has provided  both financial and logistical support to the government amounting to over US$250,000. Individual banks are also supporting awareness campaigns at our various branches and communities,” Davies said. The LBA boss noted that banks didn’t budget spending on the Ebola crisis, but individual banks had to readjust their budgets to deal with the challenges brought on as a result of the Ebola outbreak.Mr. Davies, who is also president and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), also disclosed that banks are still providing full-time services to clients. “All services are operational at banks even though the Ebola crisis has brought its own unique challenges that we are dealing with daily as an industry and as  individual banks,” he said. According to him, remittances are still flowing, except for the extractive industry which, he said, is largely affected by the Ebola outbreak.Mr. Davies assured the public that the banking sector, as a critical symbol of hope, is the last place to show fear. Our business desk confirmed contractors for a number of concession companies in the extractive and agriculture industries have declared force majeure and left the country out of fear of contracting the Ebola virus and this has affected their relationship with banks. Touching on LBDI’s individual contribution to the fight against Ebola as a bank, the CEO recalled that the Bank had  contributed US$10,000 to the government of Liberia’s Ebola Trust Fund (ETF) and made available US$1,500 goodwill support, to Montserrado County District #13 Rep. Saah Joseph to fuel his ambulances that are being used to transport Ebola patients to various treatment centers in Monrovia. “We also contributed to the US$9,000 that was provided to the Ebola Trust Fund by the LBA as its contribution to fight the virus,” Davies added. He declared that LBDI is also providing free banking services to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for all Ebola-related accounts the Ministry has at LBDI. “Apart from this  critical intervention, we are providing full-scale financial services to Mano Manufacturing Company to produce bleaches and detergents to combat Ebola in Liberia.LBDI Support to Mano Manufacturing Mano Manufacturing Company, the manufacturer of made-in-Liberia chloral, alcohol and other bleaches and other products, such as candles and matches, amongst others, is mostly financed by LBDI. “This company,” Mr. Davies declared, “is also supplying bleaches and detergent to Guinea and Sierra Leone to fight Ebola.” The prices of bleach products have more than doubled in Monrovia, propelled by huge demand as most households, business centers, offices and healthcare centers are using them for cleaning up and hand washing purposes, a method the World Health Organization (WHO) says can help to break in transmission of the deadly Ebola virus.Consumers are meanwhile concerned about the hike in the prices of locally produced  bleach products, with some appealing to the company to produce enough to meet with the rising demand on the market. Banks are still providing loans to certain clients, said Mr. Davies, but he was quick to add that said loans were being disbursed on a case by case basis. “Banks are still lending, but we take every loan situation on a case by case,” he said, noting  that banks are still financing construction and some sectors of the economy that are not badly hit by the Ebola virus outbreak. He intoned that the government of Liberia’s economic management team (EMT), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group and other stakeholders are studying the lending strategy for banks for a possible review.Davies noted that a review of the lending strategy was critical to enhancing macroeconomic stability and growth.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Logging Company Dragged Into PUP US$6M Fraud Trial

first_imgThe ongoing US$6M Private Use Permit (PUP) case involving four former senior managers of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and a senior surveyor of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy has taken a dramatic turn, after a logging company, Universal Forest Corporation, was accused of paying a bribe to get the permit.The company is expected to appear before Judge Peter W. Gbeneweleh of Criminal Court ‘C’ today to provide the original copy of the receipt allegedly obtained from one of the defendants, John Kantor, former FDA technical manager for commercial service.Kantor, along with other senior management officials  of the FDA, including the  dismissed Managing Director Moses Wogbeh, are on trial for their individual roles in facilitating the wrongful and illegal issuance of sixty-one PUPs that authorized commercial logging operation on the 2.5 million hectares of farm land, in which Universal is implicated for bribery.The decision to cite Universal Forest Corporation came immediately following the testimony by a state witness, James Dorbor Jallah, who chaired the Presidential Special Independent Investigation Body (SIIB).  His testimony linked the logging company for having paid a bribe for the performance of services they were required to do under the PUP.In his testimony, Jallah further alleged, “John Kantor was one of those members of the senior management team of the FDA on whom we found evidence indicating that he (Kantor) had received money from logging companies as was provided in the report.”He further testified, “I do not remember all of the names but their names are listed in the report that was marked in evidence yesterday.”When Jallah was asked by prosecution during his testimony to identify a photocopy of the alleged receipt issued by defendant Kantor to the logging company, he replied, “ I recognized this instrument (receipt) to be the one submitted to us during the investigation by the Universal Forest Corporation, based upon our request for all individuals, companies, communities and organizations to submit any and all documents that were in their possession relating to the issuance and operation of the PUP.”Again asked where was the original?  The state witness said, “The copy that was received by our committee were photocopies of the originals. The company did not submit the original copy of that document.” It was following that testimony that the state lawyers asked Judge Gbeneweleh to mandate the logging company to produce the original copy of the receipt they received from defendant Kantor.In their request to the court, prosecution said, “At this stage counsel for the prosecution requests your Honor for the issuance of an order (subpoena) on the management of Universal Forest Corporation to produce the original copy of the instrument (receipt) same being a cash receipt issued the said company by Mr. John Kantor dated October 20, 2011 on the stationary of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA).”Accepting prosecution’s request, Judge Gbeneweleh declared that “Submission is hereby granted. The clerk of this court is hereby ordered to issue the Subpoena and place same in the hand of sheriff commanding the Subpoena entity to produce the original copy of the instrument (receipt) herein named before this Honorable court on Thursday, April 9, 2014, at 9  a.m.  It is hereby so ordered.” The crimes for which the four former senior managers of the FDA and a senior surveyor of the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy are being tried include economic sabotage, criminal conspiracy, forgery or counterfeiting, obtaining and issuing deceptive writings and obstruction of government functions by public servants.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Suicide-appropriate language

first_imgDear Editor,Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr Karen Boyle was recently quoted in the media as stating that persons “successfully commit suicide” when they feel disconnected and depressed, feel no strong social ties and inadequate social support to face another day and have hope. While The Caribbean Voice (TCV) has no issue with the reasons given for suicide— although they are neither contextualised nor comprehensive— we take serious issue with the use of the terms ‘successfully’ and ‘commit’ to refer to suicide.As TCV has continually pointed out, the push for suicide-appropriate language is gathering momentum globally and thus, we are rather disappointed that leading officials within the Ministry of Health continue to propagate terminology that have been debunked for obvious reasons, especially when one would think that these officials should be in the forefront of requisite change.For one, how can killing oneself be a success? Just what is successful about such an act, teeming with agony and pain for both victims and survivors? Second, the word ‘commit’ connotes something criminal. And although attempting suicide is still a criminal act on the books in Guyana (because of political gamesmanship), there is nothing criminal about the act of suicide. Suicide is attempted when the pain becomes unbearable for the victim and those who survive such attempts have always revealed that they never wanted to die; they just wanted the pain to end. How then is it a criminal act to want one’s pain to end?Sincerely,The Caribbean Voicelast_img read more

“I have a right to speak” – Deputy Mayor

first_imgParking meter debacleBy Ramona LuthiAs a controversy regarding the installation of parking meters in Georgetown continues to rage, a war ofDeputy Mayor Sherod Duncanwords seems to be emerging between Mayor Patricia Chase Green and her deputy, Sherod Duncan, who evidently have different views on the contract for the installation of the meters.Duncan had previously stated the contract for the parking meters was shared between two companies, with Smart City Solutions receiving 50 per cent and another company the remaining 50 per cent.However that was disputed by Director of Smart City Kamau Kush, who said his company has a contract for the installation of all the meters.Commenting on Duncan’s position, Chase Green on Tuesday made it clear that the Deputy Mayor was not speaking on behalf of the Council.However, on Wednesday, Duncan fired back at the Mayor, making it clear that he was elected to represent the views of his constituency.He said while she was correct that the Council has a Public Relations Officer who speaks on the Council’s behalf, he was reelected as a Councillor to represent all of Georgetown in keeping with the laws.“The day I was elected to the Council, I did not give up my right to speak on my own behalf or my right to speak on the behalf of all those residents of my constituency and municipality at large. And I most certainly speak for the officer of the Deputy Mayor of the municipality of Georgetown. I don’t believe the argument put forward, whether in a personal capacity or officially on behalf of Council, diminishes the potency and veracity of said arguments,” Duncan asserted.Duncan also brushed aside reports that there is a “rift” between him and the Mayor.He said that there are often clashes between persons with differing opinions.“This is what happens when people with differing views meet. There is a reason why there are 30 Councillors and not just a Town Clerk or just a Mayor and administrative staff. City Hall has to become a place of rigorous discussion, high ideals, and the cross fertilisation of ideas.”Both Duncan and Chase Greene were elected on APNU/AFC tickets; however, Duncan came from the AFC faction of the coalition, while Chase Green is from the APNU.last_img read more

Family launches petition on findings

first_imgWalter Rodney CoI reportThe widow and family members of slain historian and founder leader of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA),Dr Walter RodneyDr Walter Rodney have commenced a worldwide petition, calling on Government to make the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into his death public and the recommendation therein acted upon.The widow is continuing to fight for justice for the death of her husband, who died in a bomb blast some 36 years ago. She, along with her children, friends and supporters, began circulating a petition throughout the Caribbean and around the world, calling for justice for the renowned scholar.The petition is also calling for a change in the manner of death stated on Rodney’s death certificate, from “death by misadventure” to “murder”, for the change of his profession from “unemployed” to “Historian/Professor”, for the overturning of the conviction of his younger brother Donald Rodney, and to expunge any related criminal history.The petition has also fired at Government, stating that its celebration of the life of former Prime Minster and People’s National Congress (PNC) Leader Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham during the celebration of Guyana’s 50th independence anniversary was a revisionist account of Guyana’s history. The findings of the CoI report have fingered the former Prime Minister as the mastermind behind Rodney’s death.The statement said “enough is enough”, speaking to those who have continued to cover-up what it said are theDr Patricia Rodneystaggering facts and findings in the CoI Report.Details coming out of the 18-month investigation – heard evidence from numerous witnesses – revealed that the Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham regime of the 1980s had been very forceful and had used its political power to injure smaller and defenceless political parties. Rodney, a world respected political and social activist, died in June 1980, after a communication device he was examining exploded in his lap.It was the theory of those close to the founding Leader of the WPA that the man he had somewhat come to trust; a then Guyana Defence Force Sergeant and communications expert William Gregory Smith, had implanted the explosive in the device Rodney was expected to test.The theory claimed too that the Government of the day, the People’s National Congress and its leader, Prime Minister Forbes Burnham, had used Smith to carry out the attack.In the report, the three Commissioners – Barbados Queen’s Counsel Richard Cheltenham, Jamaican Queen’s Counsel Jacqueline Samuels-Brown and Trinidad-based Guyanese Senior Counsel SeenathJairam – concluded that given all the relevant facts, events and circumstances set out in the report, they could do nothing else but establish that William Gregory Smith was not acting alone but had the active and full support, participation and encouragement of, and/or was aided and abetted by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) – both agencies of the State – and the political directorate including Prime Minister Forbes Burnham in the killing of Dr Rodney. The Working People’s Alliance on Monday issued another call to Government to allow the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) report to be laid in the National Assembly.Executive member, Dr David Hinds, called on Government to fulfil its promise and have the report properly laid before Parliament and debated.“I hope that such a debate avoids the political finger-pointing and instead focus on the big lessons, in particular the banishment of the use of the State and para-State institutions as a tool of violence against political opponents and the citizenry in general,” the political commentator stated.He also urged Government, of which the WPA is part of, to honour Dr Rodney in the most non-partisan manner by re-naming the University of Guyana “the Walter Rodney University of Guyana”.last_img read more

IMF finds Guyana’s risk of debt distress “moderate but rising”

first_imgGuyana’s debt distress risk remains moderate but is rising, the International Monetary Fund’s Country Report has revealed.Coming out of a debt sustainability analysis conducted by the IMF and the World Bank on Guyana, data disclose that debt indicators remain well below their respective thresholds over the projection period. The present value of external debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio rises to around 28 per cent in the long-run. The report cautioned that Guyana remains vulnerable to large terms of trade shocks given the concentration of its exports on a few commodities, and its dependence on imported oil – which also has large implications for the financial sector.The sensitivity analysis and bound tests demonstrates a high vulnerability of Guyana’s debt to shocks, in particular, in the case of new loans on less favourable terms and one-time 30 per cent depreciation.Nevertheless, the analysis indicated that debt service would remain manageable, reflecting the high concessionality of public borrowing. However, under some situations and bound tests debt service could increase significantly, reducing the amount of resources available to public investment and social spending.It noted that in light of the risks associated with plans to significantly increase expenditure, the authorities should proceed with extreme caution, such as ensuring that the projects are financially viable and that they increase the economy’s productivity, and improve debt management.It added that a significant rise in non-concessional debt, including domestic borrowing, may be needed to finance persistent deficits. That would bring additional risks and therefore would warrant close monitoring.The country’s gross public debt to GDP ratio is projected to reach 60 per cent of GDP by 2021, a relatively high level which can bring heightened financing risks on the non-concessional component, but noted that the authorities are determined to promote a robust economy.The IMF stated that the authorities are committed to prudent fiscal policies, adding that “Guyana’s fiscal balance improved considerably in 2015, underpinned by the rebound in revenue collection”.The primary balance registered a 0.8 per cent of GDP surplus in 2015 from a 4.8 per cent of GDP deficit in 2014. The overall Non-Financial Public Sector (NFPS) deficit improved considerably from 5.7 per cent of GDP in 2014 to just 0.2 per cent of GDP in 2015.Guyana’s Executive Director for the IMF, Octaviano Canuto, addressed this matter in a statement, explaining that the country’s fiscal deficit is projected to remain between five and six per cent of GDP over the medium-term.“Given the ambitious development agenda undertaken to bridge the significant infrastructure gap and address unmet social needs, the authorities intend to carefully calibrate their consolidation strategy to limit the adverse impact on the debt-to-GDP ratio, without forfeiting their objectives,” he said, adding that they continue to improve their debt management strategy and emphasise that they will refrain from utilising non-concessional external borrowing.“Private Sector funding would be mobilised through the increased use of well-designed private and public partnerships,” he noted.last_img read more

President to swear in members after finalisation of terms, conditions

first_imgPublic Procurement CommissionPresident David Granger is awaiting the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to finalise the remuneration packages, Terms of Reference and other administrative arrangements before swearing in the members of the much-anticipaIfraan Alited Public Procurement Commission (PPC).Minister of State,Joseph HarmonPresident David GrangerThis is according to Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who explained during the post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday that the work of the PAC was preliminary to the appointment of the members. He noted that before the members of the PPC are sworn in, the PAC needed to finalise certain terms and conditions.“As soon as the Public Accounts Committee sits, there are some proposals which will go before it in so far as salaries and things like that. The law requires the Chairman of the (Public Procurement) Commission is a full-time employee of that commission, which means that those persons who are named – one of them will be a chairman and another will be a vice chairman, and if they are working somewhere else, one of those persons will have to leave their job,” the Minister of State outlined.Harmon continued, “So, if you are working somewhere and going for another job, at least you must know what the salary you will be getting before you leave your job, and so it is some of these terms and conditions that have to be settled by the Public Accounts Committee.”At the end of July 2016, the PAC agreed on the nominees for the PPC, and that list was subsequently approved by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on August 8.The approved members include Attorney Emily Dodson, Carol Corbin, University of Guyana lecturer Sukrishnalall Pasha, educator Ivor English and former Labour Minister Nanda Gopaul.This list was subsequently sent to the Head of State for the members to be sworn in, but this is yet to be done, as Government is awaiting the finalisation of the terms and conditions for the Commission.However, PAC Chairman, Opposition parliamentarian Irfaan Ali recently pointed out that the President could go ahead with swearing in the members of the Procurement Commission, as he did not have to necessarily wait for the Committee to finish its work on the PPC.Nevertheless, Ali assured that the PAC, “after the Parliament comes out of recess, would be moving to have this issue as a priority on its agenda in setting out the administrative mechanism to support the work of the Public Procurement Commission, so there is nothing that is stopping the President from swearing in the members of the Public Procurement Commission”.Meanwhile, Harmon said on Thursday that Government was also supportive of fast-tracking the process at the level of the Parliamentary Committee.“We will like that to be a top priority as well, and we will give that our full support to ensure that it is fast tracked,” he stated.On the other hand, the Minister of State outlined that once the PPC was set up, it would pave the way for the establishment of the Public Procurement Tribunal – a process which the Commission would need to have a say in. “The Public Procurement Commission has a role in the selecting of that tribunal – one has to be set up before the other so that the one that is set up before can have a say in the setting up of the other. So, we got to get the Public Procurement Commission up and running and then the Tribunal will be set up,” he explained.  The issue of establishing the PPC predated the holding of the General and Regional Elections in May 2015, as the then Opposition had insisted that Cabinet should cease the practice of giving its ‘no objection’ to contracts for State projects and services, in favour of the PPC.last_img read more

World Bank Earmarks US$100bn for Poor Countries

first_imgThe World Bank Group has announced series of measures aimed at strengthening itself to better meet the evolving needs of clients across the world. The Bank’s president Jim Yong Kim declared Tuesday that the measures will include a startling US$100 billion increase lending capacity of the Bank’s lending arm for middle-income countries over the next decade.The World Bank Group president noted that the Bank will take advantage of new innovations in financial management and a boost in the institution’s ability to provide private sector support. The Bank’s announcement follows the record US$52 billion replenishment of International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, in December, 2013.   Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in Washington D.C in advance of the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings, Kim outlined how the Bank is positioning itself to better achieve its goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the lowest 40 percent in developing countries.“We now have the capacity to nearly double our annual lending to middle-income countries from US$15 billion to US$26 to $28 billion a year. This means that the World Bank’s lending capacity will increase by $100 billion to roughly US$300 billion over the next ten years,” said Kim. “This is in addition to the largest IDA replenishment in history, with US$52 billion in grants and concessional loans to support the poorest countries.” It is estimated that those living in extreme poverty were estimated at 21 percent in the developing world, and 17.7 percent globally in 2010. Boosting IBRD’s Margins for ManeuverIn addition to the previously announced $400 million in cost savings over the next three years that can be reinvested, Kim described a series of measures at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—which provides financing, risk management products, and other financial services to middle-income countries—that have the potential to transform IBRD by substantially increasing its ability to serve its clients.These include: increasing IBRD’s Single Borrower Limit by US$2.5 billion for Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, and Mexico, with a 50 basis point surcharge on the incremental amount; revising IBRD’s minimum equity-to-loan ratio to reflect improvements in portfolio credit risk, enabling more efficient utilization of shareholder capital while remaining financially prudent; changing IBRD’s loans terms, including restoring the 25 basis point commitment fee charged on undisbursed balances, and offering longer maturities with increased maturity differentiation.This will allow IBRD’s annual lending commitment capacity to expand immediately from the current US$15 billion in annual lending to more than US$25 billion per year. Therefore, the Bank’s clients over the next 10 years can see IBRD’s capacity, in terms of the maximum loan book it can prudently support, increase from about US$200 billion to nearly US$300 billion, which would also boost the Bank’s countercyclical crisis-response capacity. With an infrastructure financing gap currently estimated at US$1.2-1.5 trillion per year in emerging market and developing economies, additional resources that remain attractive relative to bond markets should continue to be in demand.“New Innovations at MIGA move further toward “One World Bank Group”Mr. Kim also described how separate arms of the World Bank Group are working even more closely together to achieve greater efficiencies. For example, he explained that the Bank Group’s political risk insurance arm, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) is entering into an innovative MIGA/IBRD exposure exchange agreement to improve the diversification of each organization’s portfolios, thereby freeing up capacity to support additional business. The first exchange will be of an IBRD exposure to Brazil for a MIGA exposure to Panama, under a MIGA contract for non-honoring of sovereign financial obligations. Both Panama and Brazil will see benefits, as IBRD and MIGA will have more headroom to do additional business in each country.The World Bank boss also noted that MIGA is planning to increase its new guarantee extension by nearly 50 percent over the next four years.Harnessing the private sector to help end povertyKim described how IFC is looking to enhance its support in achieving the global lender’s twin goals, with an expectation that it will close to double its financing over the next decade.“IFC, the largest provider of multilateral financing for the private sector in developing countries, expects it will nearly double its portfolio over the next decade to US$90 billion. In 10 years, we believe its annual new commitments will increase to US$26 billion.” said Kim.The World Bank Group has seen its financial support to developing countries double over the past ten years, from US$25.8 billion in FY04 to US$52.6 billion in the last fiscal year.  The cumulative effect of the additional lending capacity at IBRD, the largest-ever IDA envelope, and growing business at IFC and MIGA will be significant, Kim noted.“Taken as a whole, the World Bank Group’s annual commitment, which today is around US$45 to US$50 billion, is expected to grow to more than US$70 billion in the coming years. This increased financial firepower represents unprecedented growth for the World Bank Group. We are now in a position to mobilize and leverage, in total, hundreds of billions of dollars annually in the years ahead.”Enhancing the World Bank’s Equity Management FrameworkIn his speech at CFR, Kim noted, “We are strengthening our financial house to make sure that we have the capability and financial firepower to scale up our revenue and build our capital if we are going to meet some of the great needs in the developing world.”Another such measure is to stabilize and protect income generated from IBRD equity to improve the Bank Group’s financial sustainability. An enhanced Equity Management Framework will allow management to respond with more flexibility to changing market and macroeconomic conditions, within agreed rules and risk parameters. The Framework is designed to reduce the interest rate sensitivity of IBRD’s equity income, which accounts for a major portion of revenues, and aims to achieve income stability and protection by applying prudent governance and careful risk oversight.‘A Better ‘Solutions Bank’Kim asserted that the World Bank Group is now on a better footing to help countries meet their development challenges going forward.“Today, we are now better positioned to be the ‘Solutions Bank.’ We are aligning our programs and our talent to help countries grow more inclusively, which will help the poor and vulnerable, to lift themselves out of poverty.”Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Nat’l Disaster Management Agency ‘Law’ in Sight

first_imgLofa County District#4 Representative Hon. Mariamu B. Fofana has submitted for enactment a bill entitled, ‘An act to establish the National Disaster Management Agency, Republic of Liberia.’The bill was presented Tuesday, November 11, the 19th day sitting of its extraordinary session on Capitol Hill.The draft law intends to create an independent institution that will manage disasters, including wars, epidemics, landslide, flood, fire, sea erosion, windstorms, and rainstorms.“Having realized the numerous occurrences of natural disasters in Africa and the increased frequency and magnitude of hazards such as floods and sea erosion in Liberia, have given the impetus for a National Disaster Risk Management Policy for Liberia,” Rep. Fofana’s letter said.“This impetus is also driven by a need to reduce the risk related to these hazards as results of high vulnerability from over 14 years of war, poverty and low human and physical capacity.”The letter added: “Unfortunately, the level of preparedness to such disasters is inadequate leaving the country highly vulnerable to the consequences of disaster.”After the Act’s submission in plenary, a motion was filed by Montserrado County District#10 Hon. Julius F. Barrian that the Bill be turned over to the committees on Ways, Means and Finance, Judiciary and Internal Affairs as lead committee for an advisement in about two weeks. The motion was unanimously carried.Meanwhile, the House of Representatives has extended its Constituency Break by one month, beginning Tuesday, November 12 to Friday, December 12, 2014.The Certificate of Extension from the Lower House was moved.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more