Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, issued the following statement after a meeting in with Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf today:
“It was a great pleasure to welcome President Sirleaf to the IMF today. We had a very good discussion about her plans and priorities for Liberia’s recovery. The courage and tenacity of the Liberian people in the face of an unprecedented public health emergency have been extraordinary to behold. The world has felt Liberia’s pain, and the international community has responded—even if it perhaps took too long to get started. Hopefully, the epidemic will soon be fully eradicated.
“Now is the time to continue to stand with Liberia as it rebuilds. Over the past five months, the IMF has provided Liberia with some $130 million of new financing and debt relief, including about $45.6 million from the Rapid Credit Facility and about $36.5 million of debt relief, recently approved by our Executive Board. The debt relief was the first time such assistance was provided under our new Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust.
“This assistance is providing crucial budget support and allowing the deficit to expand to assist the government’s efforts to eradicate the disease and support the economic recovery. The poor and vulnerable have been hit disproportionately, and action is urgently needed to address food insecurity.
“Liberia has been making so much progress before Ebola hit, and it is essential that we do everything we can to help get the economy back on track. The IMF intends to continue to support the people of Liberia in their efforts, and I hope that we can help make a difference.”