On Wednesday, the World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved a new $60 million (ZAR727 million) International Development Association (IDA) credit for the Government of Liberia, in West Africa.
The credit was approved to facilitate the continuation and expansion of affordable electricity services to businesses and households in order to spur economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty.
Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP)
The World Bank said in a statement that the additional financing will support the ongoing Liberia Accelerated Electricity Expansion Project (LACEEP) which aims to advance Liberia’s national Agenda For Transformation to achieve a more prosperous and inclusive society.
The funds will enable LACEEP to connect an additional 36,000 local households and business within the greater Monrovia north-west area, and in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount counties. The commercial and industrial customers in these regions account for 16% of the new connections.
World Bank Liberia country manager, Inguna Dobraja said: “In order to improve people’s livelihoods and to cope with the impact of the Ebola crisis it is essential that houses and businesses in Liberia have electricity.
“This new financing will build on the ongoing project to increase access to power in Liberia by connecting households as well as key economic and social service facilities to the national electricity grid.”
The World Bank added that the LACEEP will help the government in its efforts to stabilise and rebuild Liberia’s economy post the 2014 Ebola breakout.
By increasing the access to electricity, both economic and socio-economic conditions of the country will significantly improve.
World Bank task team leader for the LACEEP, Clemencia Torres de Mästle commented: “Today’s new financing will allow the project to expand the electricity services in Monrovia and in Bomi and Grand Gape Mount counties.
“It will also help strengthen the commercial capacity of the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC), an important step towards greater financial viability for the utility company.”
The World Bank Board of Directors approved the first round of funding for the LACEEP in May 2013. The initial project design was focused on expanding electricity access in Liberia.
With today’s additional financing, the overall project will provide a total of 46,300 new customers in Liberia with access to electricity, the World Bank said.
International Development Association
The World Bank’s IDA helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.
Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion (ZAR218 billion) over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.