- The International Monetary Fund has commissioned a high powered team to Liberia to hold discussions on the country’s progress under the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.
The first mission in 20 years which arrived in Liberia on Sunday is expected to consult the country on the next steps towards achieving the Completion Point by the target date of mid-2010 and prospects for economic growth and development after total debt relief.
The IMF delegation will hold a series of meetings and discussions with members of government, the international community, the private sector, and the academic community, among other stakeholders.
Liberia is still struggling to meet the HIPC target in order to be eligible to borrow money currently from international financial institutions and other foreign governments.
The delegation is headed by John Lipsky, First Deputy Managing Director of the IMF. Mr Lipsky was appointed to the post on September 1, 2006 after a distinguished career as a banker. In recent times, he has been at the centre of the IMF’s response to the global financial crisis. He also oversees the Fund’s work in individual countries, including Liberia.
Also on the IMF delegation are Dr Antoinette Sayeh, Africa Regional Director and former Finance Minister of Liberia; Samuel Itam, Executive Director of Africa Constituency Group One, which includes Liberia; and Chris Lane, Team Leader of the IMF mission to Liberia.
When President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government took office in 2006, she announced that Liberia’s international debt was at a staggering amount of over $3 billion.
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