Policy Forum

Wolrd Bank commits $25 million to help war-torn Liberia

The World Bank has committed $25 million to Liberia in its effort to help rebuild the war- torn country. This commitment by the World Bank is a manifestation of the confidence, transparency and frank approach to governance by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Administration The World Bank has committed $25 million to Liberia in its effort to help rebuild the war- torn country. This commitment by the World Bank is a manifestation of the confidence, transparency and frank approach to governance by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Administration.

On Monday March 20, 2006, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz announced the commitment at the headquarters of the World Bank. Wolfowitz and Sirleaf, in a joint appearance, inspired hope among Liberians at home and the Diaspora when they spoke of tangible ways to help Liberia in its recovery efforts.

Liberia certainly needs all of the help she can get to rebuild her falling walls and remove her from the yoke of poverty. Fourteen years of civil war has left Liberia poverty-stricken, unsafe and unhealthy. Liberian houses are either riddled with bullet holes, structures without tops, or buildings that are visibly lacking. During the current rainy season especially, with the heavy downpours that are normally expected from July to October, will make living in Liberia unbearable and difficult for the residents of the country.

I recently received information that most of the bridges in Liberia are not safe for travel, and that motor cars packed with passengers are at risk of accidents because of corroded bridges and very bad road conditions throughout the country. Many people who survived fourteen years of civil war are at risk of losing their lives or being left crippled by motor accidents.

The fact that in many parts of Liberia there are no hospitals or clinics, especially in the rural parts of the country, leads the plea for greater international assistance to put Liberia’s health care system in place. Declining medical facilities and the lack of food are the direct result of a government that is unable to take care of its people and that is overwhelmed by massive unemployment.

On March 6, 2006, my own family was awakened to the sad news of six members of the Reeves family who were killed instantly while in route to attend the funeral of J. Nathan Paigar in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, Liberia. The body of Nathan, a family member, was in a pickup truck when the driver lost control and collided with a Firestone truck on the major highway leading to Roberts International Airport.

Regrettably, the Reeves family, especially Rev. Charles Reeves and his wife Alice, continue to mourn the loss of these promising and valuable members of our family. While we are hopeful that Nikon Reeves, Trokon Nathan, Victor Reeves, Naomi Kollie, Yama Tetee Reeves and Allison Reeves are resting peacefully in the Lord, the pain continues to linger on for our family and all other families affected by this tragic accident.

The death of these family members and members of other families who lost their lives is an example of what devastating blows bad road conditions, frustration, stress and recklessness continue to impose upon the people of Liberia. It also shows that Liberia is at the crossroads and needs great help from our partners and friends to assist Liberia in her march towards recovery and lasting peace.

It is my ardent wish and heartfelt appeal that all Liberians, our partners and friends, will combine efforts to provide basic services to Liberia and to lead the path for workable democracy to a country that has suffered from fourteen years of civil war.

May 5, 2006
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