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Liberia: Staff Report for the 2012 Article IV Consultation and Request for Three-Year Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility—Informational Annex

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
Published Date:
December 2012
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Relations with the Fund

(As of September 30, 2012)

1. Membership Status: Joined: March 28, 1962. Article XIV

2. General Resources Account:

SDR Million%Quota
Quota129.20100.00
Fund holdings of currency129.1899.99
Reserve Tranche Position0.030.02

3. SDR Department:

SDR Million%Allocation
Net cumulative allocation123.98100.00
Holdings150.08121.05

4. Outstanding Purchases and Loans:

SDR Million%Quota
ECF Arrangements42.1432.61

5. Latest Financial Arrangements:

Date of ArrangementExpiration DateAmount Approved (SDR Million)Amount Drawn (SDR Million)
ECF 1Mar 14, 2008May 17, 2012247.90247.90
EFFMar 14, 2008Sep 25, 2008342.77342.77
Stand-ByDec 07, 1984Dec 06, 198542.788.50

Formerly PRGF.

Formerly PRGF.

6. Projected Payments to Fund

(SDR Million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):

Forthcoming
20122013201420152016
Principal0.000.002.103.695.46
Charges/Interest0.000.000.110.100.09
Total0.000.002.213.795.55

7. Implementation of HIPC Initiative:

Enhanced Framework
I.Commitment of HIPC assistance
Decision point dateMarch 2008
Assistance committed
By all creditors (US$ Million)12,739.20
Of which: IMF assistance (US$ Million)721.10
(SDR equivalent in millions)440.90
Completion point dateJune 2010
II.Disbursement of IMF assistance (SDR Million)
Assistance disbursed to the member440.90
Interim assistance30.14
Completion point balance410.76
Additional disbursement of interest income 210.99
Total disbursements451.89

Assistance committed under the original framework is expressed in net present value (NPV) terms at the completion point, and assistance committed under the enhanced framework is expressed in NPV terms at the decision point. Hence these two amounts cannot be added.

Under the enhanced framework, an additional disbursement is made at the completion point corresponding to interest income earned on the amount committed at the decision point but not disbursed during the interim period.

Assistance committed under the original framework is expressed in net present value (NPV) terms at the completion point, and assistance committed under the enhanced framework is expressed in NPV terms at the decision point. Hence these two amounts cannot be added.

Under the enhanced framework, an additional disbursement is made at the completion point corresponding to interest income earned on the amount committed at the decision point but not disbursed during the interim period.

8. Delivery of Debt Relief at the Completion Point:

I.Debt relief (SDR Million)548.53
Financed by: Liberia Administered Account116.20
Remaining HIPC resources432.33
II.Debt relief by facility (SDR Million)
Eligible Debt
Delivery DateGRAPRGTTotal
June 2010342.77205.76548.53

9. Safeguards Assessment

A 2011 update assessment of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) found strengthened safeguards in place, including through the implementation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), independent external audits, and effective oversight of audit and control matters by the Board of Governors and its Audit Committee. Continued progress and development of relevant safeguards will be needed with the envisaged expansion of reserves and cash management activities. Also, the respective rights and obligations of the government and the CBL regarding IMF transactions need to be clarified and transparently disclosed in the CBL financial statements.

10. Exchange Rate Arrangement

Liberia maintains an exchange rate system that is free of restrictions on payments for current and capital transfers. The currency of Liberia is the Liberian dollar. The U.S. dollar is also legal tender. The exchange rate showed limited mobility for most of 2011 resulting in a short lived re-classification of the de facto exchange rate regime to ‘stabilized arrangement’ effective January 5, 2011. The de facto exchange rate regime was re-classified back to ‘other managed’ effective November 7, 2011 as the Liberian dollar diverged from the 2 percent six months band. The de jure exchange rate regime classification remains ‘managed floating’. The exchange rate between the Liberian dollar and United States dollar at end-July 2012 was L$73.50=US$1 (mid-point between buying and selling rates)

11. Article IV Consultation

The 2010 Article IV consultation discussions were held in Monrovia during September 21– October 1, 2010. The staff report (Country Report No. 10/373, December 2010) was discussed by the Executive Board on December 8, 2010 and is posted on the IMF website.

12. Technical Assistance 2009–12

SubjectDepartmentDate
Resident Advisors
Long-term Advisor for the CBLMCMAugust 2007–October 2009
Public Financial ManagementFADJuly 2008–Present
TopicDate
Fiscal Affairs Department
Reforms and Technical Assistance NeedsFebruary 2009
Public Financial Management—Drafting RegulationsFebruary–March 2009
Fiscal DecentralizationFebruary–March 2009
Public Financial Management Regulations DraftingMay 2009
Revenue Authority, Customs and Tax AdministrationMay 2009
Public Financial ManagementJune 2009
Tax AdministrationSeptember 2009
Tax PolicyNovember 2009
Public Financial ManagementOctober 2010
Tax AdministrationMarch 2010
Revenue AdministrationJune 2010, Sept., and Dec. 2010
Revenue Department Strategic PlanNovember–December 2010
Tax PolicyNovember–December 2010
Public Financial Management StrategyDecember 2010, March–April 2011
Revenue Department Strategic PlanJanuary–February 2011
Cash Flow Planning and Government Banking ArrangementsFebruary 2011
Medium Term Expenditure FrameworkMarch 2011 and August–Sept. 2011
County Treasury FrameworkJune 2011
Tax AdministrationJune–July and August–September 2011
Tax PolicyNovember–December 2011
Revenue AdministrationJanuary–February 2012
SOE Financial Reporting FrameworkMarch – April 2012
Cash Flow ManagementApril 2012
Public Expenditure Financial Assessment (PEFA) Follow upJune 2012
TopicDate
Fiscal DecentralizationSeptember 2012
County TreasuriesSeptember 2012
Statistics Department
Government Finance StatisticsApril–May 2009
Monetary Finance StatisticsMarch–April 2010
National AccountsApril 2010, and July–August 2010
National AccountsJanuary 2011
Balance of PaymentsMarch–April 2011
Statistics Department Monetary and Financial StatisticsAugust 2011
National Accounts CompilationSeptember 2011
Short-term Resident Advisor on National AccountsMay – August 2012
Monetary and Capital Markets Department
AccountingJanuary and August–Sept. 2009
Monetary OperationsApril and October 2009
Foreign Exchange OperationsJune 2009
Banking SupervisionSeptember–October 2009
Monetary Financial StatisticsMarch–April 2010
Central Bank Accounting StandardsMay 2010
Monetary OperationsJune–July 2010
Banking SupervisionAugust 2010
Bank Payment SystemsDecember 2010
Central Bank AccountingJanuary–February 2011
Central Bank ModernizationMarch–April 2011
Bank Payment SystemsMay 2011
Banking SupervisionJune–July 2011
Safeguards AssessmentJuly 2011
Monetary Financial StatisticsAugust 2011
Capacity building for national payment systemSeptember–November 2011
Central Bank AccountingDecember 2011
AccountingJanuary 2012
Monetary OperationsJanuary 2012
Stress TestingJanuary 2012
Payment Systems LawFebruary 2012
Banking SupervisionMarch–April, 2012
Legal Department
Legal DraftingMay 2009 and December 2009
Drafting Tax LegislationJuly 2010
Legal DraftingDec. 2010, March and August 2011
Technical Assistance Pipeline

(indicative at end-August 2012)
Estimated DateType of Assistance
Fiscal Affairs Department
Design, sequencing, coordination and monitoring of public financial management (PFM) reforms2012–14Resident Advisor
Medium term expenditure framework capacity building (multi-mission)April–Sept. 2012Short-term experts and Regional PFM adviser
Public Financial Management Program oversightAugust 2012Short-term expert
Cash flow managementSept.–Dec. 2012Short-term expert
SOE OversightShort-term expert
Project Oversight and ManagementShort-term expert
Fiscal reportingApril and October 2012Short-term expert
SOE Financial Reporting FrameworkMarch–April 2012SOE Financial Reporting Framework
Tax policy (VAT, petroleum, other)April, May, September 2012Short-term experts and HQ team
Tax Administration Design & MonitoringShort-term experts and HQ team
Tax audit strategyShort-term experts

13. Resident Representative

A resident representative has been posted in Monrovia since April 2, 2006. Mr. Sobolev assumed the position in July 2009.

Joint World Bank-IMF Work Program, 2012–13

(As of October 12, 2012)

TitleProductsTiming of missionExpected delivery dateStatus
A. Mutual information on relevant work programs
1. World Bank work program1. Liberia Poverty AssessmentJanuary 2010May 2012First delivery-June 2012. Final delivery-November 2012
2. Fourth Reengagement and Reform Support ProgramNovember 2010September 2011Signed Dec. 2011.
3. Poverty Reduction Strategy – SupportNovember 2010June 2012Completed
4. Public Expenditure Review NotesNovember 2011July 2013Two Notes delivered final Note in progress
5. Diagnostic Trade Integration Study (Update)October 2012July 2013Ongoing
6. Decentralization Policy NoteJanuary 2013July 2013Ongoing
2. IMF work program1. Negotiation successor ECFJuly and Sept. 2012November 2012
2. Article IV ConsultationJuly and Sept. 2012November 2012
3. First review of ECF ProgramMarch 2013April 2013
4. Second review of ECF ProgramSeptember 2013Sept. 2013
5. Managing Natural Resource Revenue in Liberia: Options for a Fiscal FrameworkNovember 2012Background paper
6. Drivers of net interest margins and bank profitability in LiberiaNovember 2012Background paper
7. The Investment-Financing-Growth NexusNovember 2012Background paper
8. Outreach program to Legislature, private sector associations, and studentsMarch, June 2013
2. Joint Staff Assessments (JSA) on the second Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS2).January 2013February 2013 pending receipt of PRS from Government
3. Technical Assistance for PFM reforms and decentralization.On-going
4. Assist the authorities in developing national accountsOngoing
B. Requests for work program inputs
4. Fund request to Bank1. Country Assistance StrategyWhen completed
2. World Bank Relations NoteAs needed
3. Poverty AssessmentNovember
5. Bank request to Fund1. Regular updates of performance under the Fund-supported program, macroeconomic projections and data following each IMF missionContinuousLast update March 2012
2. IMF Relations NoteAs needed

Relations with the World Bank Group1

(As of September 4, 2012)

The overarching aim of the Joint Country Assistance Strategy2 (JCAS) presented to the Board of the World Bank Group on April 21, 2009 is to support Liberia’s transition from post conflict recovery to long-term development. More specifically, the JCAS, which is fully aligned with the Africa Regional Strategy and the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), focused on three strategic objectives: (i) rebuilding core state functions and institutions; (ii) rehabilitating infrastructure to sustain economic growth; and (iii) facilitating pro-poor growth. The World Bank’s program under the JCAS involved a combination of development policy lending, investment lending and analytical work in support of the three strategic objectives.

The World Bank’s indicative IDA financing for the JCAS (FY09–FY11) was US $298.0 million. With the addition of some US $120 million under the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Funds managed by the Bank, as well as other trust funds, the actual financing under the JCAS program is approximately US $530 million. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) net commitment under the JCAS was about US $16.4 million with a program focused on: improvement of the investment climate; improving the dialogue between the government and the private sector; strengthening the financial sector; supporting private participation in the economy by financing selected private sector companies in identified priority sectors including agribusiness, infrastructure, mining and manufacturing; and supporting the sustainable development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

A progress report presented to the Board on July 7, 2011 extends the current Joint Country Assistance Strategy to end FY12 to coincide with the launching of Liberia’s Agenda for Transformation. The Liberia indicative allocation for the IDA16 period (July 2011–June 2014) is SDR 117.5 million, an increase of 18 percent over the IDA 15 allocation. The preparation of the new five-year Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for FY13–17 is underway and it is expected that the CPS will be presented to the World Bank’s Board in mid-December 2012.

A. Active Projects

There are currently twelve active3 IDA projects in Liberia, including three regional projects, with a total commitment of approximately US$310.6 million of which US $145.6 million is undisbursed. Five new operations (credits) were approved in FY12 (ending June 30, 2012) for a total commitment of approximately US $191.5 million. The five new credits are summarized below:

The Liberia Smallholder Tree Crop Revitalization Support Project was approved on June 15, 2012 for US $15 million. The objective of the project is to increase access to finance, inputs, technologies and markets for smallholder tree crop farmers in Liberia, and to develop a long term development program for the tree crops sector. The project has three primary components, first of which focuses on the revitalizing the production and marketing of major tree crops including cocoa, coffee, oil palm and rubber. The second component of the project focuses on (i) institution building, including strengthening key public and private institutions involved in project planning, implementation and coordination and (ii) the preparation and validation of a master plan for targeted tree crops. The third component of the project is concerned with project coordination, management and evaluation.

The West African Power Pool (WAPP)-Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea Power Interconnection Project a regional energy project was approved in May 2012 for US$144.5 million. The project’s development objectives are: (i) to reduce the cost of and increase the electricity supply at utility level; and (ii) to increase the export capability of Cote d’Ivoire. The project consists of two sub-projects which will be implemented independently. The first project which focuses on the WAPP power interconnection has two major components. The first component addresses the transmission infrastructure for the interconnection with Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia Sierra Leone and Guinea. Such infrastructure will include the overhead transmission line, the substations, the supervisory control and data system, frequency control system as well as the environmental and social management plan. The second component of the first sub-project addresses institutional framework (including the establishment of a regional transmission company) and project oversight. The second sub-project provides technical assistance to support the integration of the WAPP network; for technical studies and to build implementation capacity.

The Liberia Electricity System Enhancement Project (LESEP)-Additional Financing was approved in January 2012 for US$22 million. The objective of the Additional Financing for the Electricity System Enhancement Project is to improve and increase access to electricity in Liberia. The additional financing will provide for additional or expanded activities to scale up project’s impact and development effectiveness in the following areas: 1) distribution network reinforcement and extension; 2) enhancing options for power generation through the procurement of a thermal power plant of approximately 10MW; and 3) providing modern renewable energy services through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) financed lantern exchange program.

Liberia Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project was approved in December 2011 for US $5 million of IDA resources and approximately US $23.5 million of cofinancing from the African Development Bank, United States Agency for International Development, and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The development objective of the project is improved budget coverage, fiscal policy management, financial control, and oversight of government finances of Liberia. The project has five components. The first component of the project focuses on enhancing budget planning systems, coverage, and credibility. The second component of the project is aimed at strengthening Project Financial Management (PFM) legal framework, budget execution, accounting, and reporting. The third component of the project focuses on revenue mobilization and administration. The fourth component of the project deals with enhancing transparency and accountability. The fifth and final component of the project addresses program governance and project management.

Liberia Fourth Reengagement and Reform Support Program was approved in October 2011 for US $5 million. The objectives of the operation are to support government-owned ongoing reforms to strengthen governance and improve the environment for private sector-led inclusive growth. More specifically, the RRSPIV focuses on: (i) improving the capacity for and transparency of public procurement; (ii) improving internal control procedures and the capacity for internal audit; (iii) improving revenue administration; and (iv) improving land administration to reduce conflicts and enhance the investment climate.

B. Economic and Sector Work

The World Bank has completed a series of on-demand analytical studies to support the preparation of the next Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS)—Agenda for Transformation. This PRS is the first strategy in the context of the Government long-term vision plan—Liberia Rising 2030 which aims to take Liberia to middle income status by 2030. The analytical work includes: (i) a policy note describing underlying assumptions and baseline outcomes generated using a general equilibrium model (MAMS). The model was used to simulate the medium to long term impact of various policy alternatives on key macro variables as well as MDGs; (ii) an inclusive growth diagnostic study to assess binding constraints to economic activity in Liberia; (iii) an analysis of the options for leveraging investment activities and rents from the extractive sectors to support the development of the domestic private sector; (iv) an infrastructure diagnostics intended to help answer two key policy concerns: (a) how to prioritize infrastructure investments for economic diversification; and (b) how to leverage concessions contract for infrastructure development in Liberia; (v) a preliminary diagnostic of the state of social protection in Liberia and a comprehensive inventory on social protection interventions as a basis for debate and discussion towards the formulation of an effective social protection policy and strategy; and (vi) a Poverty Note to provide detailed analysis of some of the key determinants of poverty in Liberia and how these interact, particularly at the household level. Second on the basis of the analysis identified evidence-based policy options for reducing poverty. The World Bank is also providing technical assistance for the preparation of the Agenda for Transformation and the compilation of the national accounts in collaboration with the IMF.

C. Financial Relations (as at September 4, 2012)

(Millions of U.S. dollars)1

ProjectClosing DateApproval (Fiscal Year)Net Commitment AmountTotal DisbursedOf Which: Loan DisbursementTotal Undisbursed Balance
West Africa Power Pool APL3/28/201320101.91.81.80.1
LR: Youth, Employment, Skills Project6/30/201320106.04.93.31.1
Community Empowerment II7/31/201320075.03.60.01.4
LR-Agriculture & Infrastructure Development Project. ERL10/31/2013200853.045.00.08.0
LR-Econ. Governance & Institutional. Reform TAL12/31/2013200818.012.51.55.5
LR-Emergency Monrovia Urban Sanitation12/31/2013201022.417.80.54.6
LR-Urban and Rural Infra. Rehab. Project6/30/2014200964.043.50.020.5
West Africa Regional Fisheries Program12/15/201420099.03.63.65.4
Liberia Electricity System Enhancement Project12/31/2014201232.02.02.030.0
West Africa Regional Communications Infrastructure Program9/302015201125.620.620.64.2
West Africa Agricultural Productivity Program APL6/30/201620116.01.01.04.9
LR-Road Asset Management Project6/30/2022201167.75.70.059.9
Total310.6162.034.3145.6
IDA Disbursements and Debt Service (Quarterly since HIPC Completion Point)
US$ MillionJul–Sep 2010Oct–Dec 2010Jan–Mar 2011Apr–Jun 2011Jul–Sep 2011Oct–Dec 2011Jan–Mar 2012Apr–Jun 2012
Total disbursements9.4722.137.6422.5821.8210.7314.258.47
Repayments0.330.000.000.000.000.000.000.00
Net disbursements9.1422.137.6422.5821.8210.7314.258.47
Interest and fees0.050.000.000.000.000.000.000.07
Note: *=revised data.
Note: *=revised data.

Relations with the African Development Bank1

(As of September 10, 2012)

There are 11 active AfDB projects in Liberia, including one regional project, with a total commitment of approximately UA 108.2 million, equivalent to US $163.4 million, of which 33% is disbursed. A brief description of these active projects is summarized below:

1. Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Program: The UA 30 million grant will finance the Economic Governance and Competitiveness Support Program. This second budget support operation aims to (i) improve PFM systems; (ii) strengthen tax and customs administration including transparency and accountability of revenue from the extractive industry; and (iii) improve business enabling environment for private sector development. It will also increase the government’s fiscal space for pro-poor expenditure in line with the PRS. The program is an integral part of a broader set of interventions of the AfDB designed to support good financial and economic governance. In December 2011, the first tranche of UA 14 million was disbursed.

2. Integrated Public Financial Management Reform Project (IPFMRP): The ADB’s UA 3.0 million grant support for this project was approved on September 10, 2012. Supported by four donors—the ADB, World Bank, USAID, and SIDA—this US $28.55 million project represents an innovative approach for the Bank to support a comprehensive government program for PFM reform. By using a pooled funding arrangement, the project harmonizes support from the four donors, increasing development effectiveness while decreasing the administrative burden on the Government. The project has five components, which are mutually reinforcing: (i) enhancing budget planning and credibility; (ii) strengthening budget execution, accounting and reporting; (iii) strengthening revenue administration; (iv) enhancing transparency and accountability; and (v) project management and capacity building.

3. Payment system development project: This UA 5 million supplementary grant allows Liberia to join the West Africa Monetary Zone (WAMZ) Payments System Development Project. The project aims to improve the financial sector basic infrastructure in the WAMZ region through the upgrade of the payments systems of: The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The project components are: Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system; Retail Payments Automation (RPA), a clearing system comprising Automated Checks Processing (ACP); Automated Clearing House (ACH); Central Banking Applications (CBA) system; and telecommunication infrastructure. The project will increase participation in the formal financial sector and enhance financial flows at the regional level. This project fits under Pillar I of the Bank’s proposed Regional Integration Strategy for West Africa 2011–15 on linking regional markets through trade and investment facilitation.

4. Technical Assistance from Fragile States Facility:

  • LEITI: US $460,000 grant assistance for Multi-Stakeholders Group costs; communication and outreach, staff training and capacity building of actors involved in extractive industries transparency related activities

  • Public Financial Management Reforms: US $1,000,560 grant assistance to cover operating cost for Public Financial Management Reform Unit, Macro Fiscal Unit, and Aid Management Unit.

  • Dagliotti School of Medicine: US $300,600 grant assistance to retain 3 professors teaching at Dagliotti School including cost of carrying out medical research.

5. Liberia–Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Project (UWSSP). This UA 25.2 million grant project aims to improve Monrovia’s water and sanitation facilities. The UWSSP is complementary to the MWSRP providing the interface and rehabilitation of the water distribution network in central Monrovia area “B”. The project will: (i) provide access to adequate, safe and reliable water supply and public sanitation services in Monrovia, Buchanan, Kakata and Zwedru; and (ii) enhance the institutional, operational, management capability, and the long-term financial viability of LWSC. Project’s components are: (i) Rehabilitation and augmentation of water treatment and distribution systems; (ii) Provision of public sanitation facilities; (iii) Institutional support; (iv) Environmental and Sanitation Sensitization. Expected outcomes include: (i) Reliable and affordable water and sanitation services to 50 percent of the population in Monrovia, and 75 percent coverage in Buchanan, Kakata, and Zwedru (about 700,000 total people); (ii) Social connection revolving fund to enable access by the poor; (iii) Improved projects implementation by water and sanitation sector staff; and (iv) Improved management, operation and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities.

6. Water Sector Reform Study: This €2.5 million study, funded by a grant from the African Water Facility, seeks to foster improved governance and comprehensive long-term development of the water sector. The study components are: (i) Development and implementation of water and sanitation sector policy and strategy, institutional reform, and capacity building; (ii) Development of tools to support water sector planning and (iii) Reinforcement of national capacities to undertake the sector reform process. Expected outcomes are: (i) Improved policy and restructured institutions; (ii) Improved implementation efficiency of WSS programs and projects; (iii) Faster development and effective utilization of resources; and (iv) Improved capacity of the water sector to manage and develop water resources.

7. Agriculture sector rehabilitation project: This UA 18.4 million project cost is financed by a UA 12.5 million grant from the Bank, UA 3.4 million grant from IFAD, and the balance financed in kind by the Government of Liberia. The project covers eight of the fifteen counties in Liberia. The project complements the Bank-supported Labour-Based Public Works Program (OSHD). The overall goal of the Agriculture Sector Rehabilitation project is to contribute to food security and poverty reduction. Its specific objective is to increase the income of smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs including women on a sustainable basis. The project is implemented under three components: Agriculture Infrastructure Rehabilitation; Agricultural Production and Productivity Improvement; and Project Management, with Agriculture infrastructure constituting 60 percent of the cost.

8. Smallholder Agricultural Productivity Enhancement and Commercialization (SAPEC) Project: This UA 34.08 million project will be funded by a UA 29.08 million grant from the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP), a UA 4.0 million ADF loan, and UA 1.0 million by in-kind contributions from the Government of Liberia (GOL). The Intervention seeks to reduce rural poverty and household food insecurity by increasing income for smallholder farmers and rural entrepreneurs particularly women, youths and the physically-challenged. SAPEC will be implemented in 12 of the 15 political subdivisions or counties of Liberia over the 2012–2017 timeframe. The project seeks to scale-up the on-going Agricultural Sector Rehabilitation Project (ASRP) by operating in 8 of the 12 counties where the ASRP is being implemented. The 3 uncovered counties are programmed for similar interventions by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank (WB) and other donors. The project consists of four components, namely: (i) Sustainable Crop Production Intensification; (ii) Value Addition and Marketing; (iii) Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening; and (iv) Project Management.

9. The Labour-Based Public Works Project (LBPWP): The UA 20.24 million grant project aims to contribute to the improvement of productive livelihoods and service delivery. The project objective is to rehabilitate socio-economic infrastructure and improve capacities for infrastructure maintenance. Its components are: i) Rehabilitation of Socio-Economic Infrastructure; and ii) Capacity Development for Infrastructure Maintenance; and iii) Project Management. In 2011 the Bank provided a UA 5.00 million supplementary grant from the Fragile States Facility (FSF) to enable the financing of additional costs resulting from improved designs of the project infrastructure.

10. Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI): The project will involve a credit facility by the ADB of up to US $5 million in the form of a subordinated debt. This will provide LBDI with the required funding to meet the increasing demand for long-term financing from certain key sectors of the Liberian economy including SMEs, services, construction, agribusiness and light manufacturing. The loan is not yet effective for disbursement.

11. Equity investment of US$ 0.9 million in the share capital of access bank (ABL): The Access Bank Liberia (ABL) is a start-up microfinance bank sponsored by lead investor Access Microfinance Holding AG in Germany, with co-support by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Statistical Issues

(As of September 30, 2012)

I. Assessment of Data Adequacy for Surveillance
General: Data have serious shortcomings that significantly hamper surveillance. Shortcomings are most serious in the areas of national accounts, government finance, and balance of payments statistics.
National Accounts: Comprehensive national accounts data are not available. Fund staff estimate GDP by activity using the production approach and primary source data provided by the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS). Estimates for GDP by expenditure are not available. Liberia participates in the National Accounts Module of the UK Department for International Development supported Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative (EDDI), which aims to strengthen annual national accounts, and to improve price statistics. The national business register and national accounts questionnaires were established in December 2008. In 2009, the LISGIS conducted the first post-war National Accounts Annual Survey (NAAS) and collected information for the calendar year 2008. This survey had problems with low response rates and the results from the survey have not been published yet. A second round of so-called National Accounts Annual Survey (NAAS 2012) was conducted during July-August, 2012 and collected information for the years 2010 and 2011. Following a request from the authorities, an STA mission assisted the LISGIS in successfully conducting the field operations of the survey which resulted in a response rate of around 98 percent. The World Bank has also appointed a consultant to guide the LISGIS in various aspects of the survey. There are, however, challenges in estimating informal sector activities. A Household Income and Expenditure (HIES) Survey planned for 2012 will provide data from which such estimates may be developed. Supply and use tables (SUT) for 2008 were independently developed by a World Bank consultant to provide a benchmark estimate of GDP. The Liberian authorities requested STA to make an assessment of the SUT estimates. After a desk-based review of the results, STA noted that the SUT estimates for 2008 are not sufficiently robust to be published as official statistics and should be considered as experimental. The assessment took into account the lack of basic information and the use of many imputations and adjustments in the compilation process. It was stressed that such research results, however, serve to generate discussion with interested users and may, with appropriate improvements to source data and methodology, develop into official estimates. Through its technical assistance missions within the EDDI project, STA will continue to provide guidance on the use of existing and new source data to compile national accounts estimates and to build capacity in LISGIS to produce reliable national accounts statistics on an ongoing basis. With improved data sources (especially NAAS 2012 and HIES), it is expected that reliable GDP estimates should be available by 2014.
Price statistics: A consumer price index for Monrovia has been compiled since 2005. The Harmonized Consumer Price Index providing national coverage was officially adopted in 2007.
Government finance statistics: The Ministry of Finance regularly provides the African Department with monthly disaggregated data on budgetary central government revenue recorded on a cash basis, and expenditure recorded on both cash and commitment bases. While they are in the process of phasing-in the GFSM 2001 framework, there is still a number of areas where the government finance statistics need to be improved: lack of legal framework to collect statistics; limited data sharing and coordination among data producing agencies; inconsistent institutional coverage of the statistics with other datasets (e.g., national accounts and monetary statistics); omission of nonmonetary transactions; limited data on stocks of financial assets, liabilities, and arrears; and incorrect reference exchange rate to convert data from Liberian dollars to U.S. dollars.
Monetary statistics: The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has made progress in adopting the statistical methodology recommended by the IMF’s Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual (MFSM). However, the reporting of monetary and financial statistics (MFS) has been suspended since September 2010. STA missions in March 2010 and August 2011 assisted authorities in advancing the introduction of standardized report forms (SRFs) and collecting data from commercial banks in accordance with the methodology in the MFSM. The CBL agreed to start reporting the SRFs for the central bank, other depository corporations, and monetary aggregates by end-December 2011. However, no data in the format of SRFs have been received by STA. Instead, in June 2012, the CBL renewed reporting of monetary data in the old format. The latest available data are for July 2012.
Balance of payments: Reporting is not comprehensive, and Fund staff prepares provisional balance of payments statistics for surveillance. Although some progress in collecting and reporting data has been made with STA support, there still remain several areas that need improvement particularly with regard to primary source data, methodology, compilation practices, and frequency and timeliness in data dissemination. Additionally, coverage needs to be improved, especially for: i) foreign direct investment, including direct investment in kind, that is likely to become significant as plans are underway for foreign companies to invest in mining activities; ii) technical assistance services, development aid, and compensation paid to locally employed workers of international organizations, which have a very large presence in Liberia; iii) banking sector transactions, as relevant monetary and financial statistics data are not used for balance of payments and there is a lack of financial account entries for the banking sector; and iv) other areas such as remittances, investment income, and the overall coverage of the financial account.
II. Data Standards and Quality
Participant in the General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) since October 2005.No Data Module of the Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (data ROSC) is available.
III. Reporting to STA
The authorities report for the related publications (IFS, GFSY, and BOPSY) annual balance of payments data and government finance statistics, the latter with a considerable lag (latest available data is 2008).
Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance
Date of latest observation (For all dates in table, please use format dd/mm/yy)Date receivedFrequency of Data7Frequency of Reporting7Frequency of Publication7
Exchange Rates31/08/201212/10/2012DMD
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities131/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Reserve/Base Money31/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Broad Money31/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Central Bank Balance Sheet31/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking System31/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Interest Rates231/8/201229/08/2012MMA
Consumer Price Index31/08/201212/10/2012MMA
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3

– General Government4
NANANANANA
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3

– Central Government
31/03/201231/07/2012MQI
Stocks of Central Government and Central Government-Guaranteed Debt531/03/201231/07/2012QQI
External Current Account Balance31/12/201131/07/2012AII
Exports and Imports of Goods and Services31/12/201131/07/2012AII
GDP/GNP1992NAAII
Gross External Debt31/03/201231/07/2012QQQ
International Investment Position6NANANANANA

Any reserve assets that are pledged or otherwise encumbered should be specified separately. Also, data should comprise short-term liabilities linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means, as well as the notional values of financial derivatives to pay and to receive foreign currency, including those linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means.

Interest rate data cover the saving rate, deposit rate, and lending rate.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis-à-vis nonresidents.

Daily (D); weekly (W); monthly (M); quarterly (Q); annually (A); irregular (I); and not available (NA).

Any reserve assets that are pledged or otherwise encumbered should be specified separately. Also, data should comprise short-term liabilities linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means, as well as the notional values of financial derivatives to pay and to receive foreign currency, including those linked to a foreign currency but settled by other means.

Interest rate data cover the saving rate, deposit rate, and lending rate.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

Including currency and maturity composition.

Includes external gross financial asset and liability positions vis-à-vis nonresidents.

Daily (D); weekly (W); monthly (M); quarterly (Q); annually (A); irregular (I); and not available (NA).

Amounts may not add up to original principal due to changes in the SDR/US exchange rate since signing.

Prepared by the World Bank.

Joint with World Bank, IFC and African Development Bank.

Effective and/or disbursing operations.

Prepared by the African Development Bank.

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