Liberia Joins World Bank Group's MIGA
WASHINGTON, DC, April 13, 2007—The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)—a member of the World Bank Group—today announced that Liberia has officially become its newest shareholder, bringing MIGA's membership rolls to 171.
The membership enables foreign investments going into Liberia to be eligible for guarantee coverage from MIGA, which protects investments against the risks of transfer restriction, expropriation, breach of contract, and war and civil disturbance (including terrorism). Investments from Liberia going into other developing countries may also receive coverage.
Following more than two decades of debilitating conflict—which resulted in the death or displacement of hundreds of thousands of Liberians, and left essential infrastructure and systems in tatters—the country today is on a path to recovery. The government has acted to rebuild the infrastructure destroyed by war, and economic reforms have increased revenues by nearly 50 percent in the past year, with the economy growing by more than 7 percent.
But key challenges remain. Speaking at the Liberia Partners Forum held in Washington earlier this year, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf highlighted the need to rebuild her country's road network, to create jobs quickly, and to strengthen institutions and human capacity, among other things.
"MIGA has a critical role to play in post-conflict countries such as Liberia," says MIGA's Executive Vice President, Yukiko Omura. "Our focus is on markets where we can make the greatest difference, markets where other insurers are often unwilling or unable to go. MIGA's proven track-record on spurring infrastructure and job development is a strong complement to the World Bank's work in Liberia."
The World Bank plans to make about $60 million available to Liberia over the coming year and a half. Since 1962, when Liberia became a member of the World Bank, assistance on 39 projects in all major sectors has helped the country work towards achieving economic growth and reducing poverty.
Release no. 2007/111