Liberia is recovering from a 10 year period of civil wars which ended in 2003 and the Ebola epidemic of 2016. Civil war destroyed the country’s infrastructure and significantly eroded a once large human capital base. The country is rich in resources but it's economy is dependent on commodity prices.
Liberia has now emerged from a long turbulent period, in which it experienced armed conflict, an Ebola virus outbreak, and a UN Peacebuilding Commission, to a place where it can commit to a 6-year programme from 2021-2027. However, it still faces significant challenges in relation to the economy, development, and governance.
The Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) is based on the national development plan and includes provisions to support jobs and the economy, governance, women’s and youth rights, and social inclusion. However, there is as yet no agreed joint plan between the EU, the TE countries, and the Liberian Government.
In the current MIP, three priority areas have been identified for action:
Priority 1: Enhancing and preserving natural resources for sustainable growth targeted at agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and environment protection. Specific objectives under this priority include ensuring sustainable food systems and increasing access to food and effective governance of the ecosystem.
Priority 2: Promoting decent jobs and inclusive growth focusing on technical and vocational education and training, SME development, and transport and storage. Specific objectives under this priority include enabling youth to respond to economic opportunities; increasing the amount of decent, formal employment in the private sector, and enhancing linkages to local, national, and international markets.
Priority 3: Improving financial and democratic governance focusing on economic governance, democratic participation, and women’s rights. Specific objectives under this priority include improving economic stability and financial management; promoting inclusive and transparent democratic practices and ensuring a violence-free level playing field for women and girls.
Funding for the first three years of the programme amounts to €191 million. Priority 1 will receive €46 million (24%), priority 2 €85 million (45%), and priority 2 will receive €48 million (25%). The balance of €12 million will go to support measures.
Support measures and Team Europe Initiatives
France, Germany, Sweden, and Ireland, are the countries involved in the Team Europe initiatives. There are two TE initiatives in the areas of ‘safe and sustainable food systems’ and ‘forestry and diversity’ and their objectives are closely aligned with the MIP.
Regarding ‘safe and sustainable food systems’ the actions aim to intensify and commercialise sustainable agriculture and also to diversify the rural economy coupled with agribusiness.
Regarding ‘forestry and diversity’ the actions aim to transform the forestry sector to include sustainable management and practices. Other activities aim to improve the management of critical terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems.
The MIP and TEIs are aligned with several EU policies, specifically, the European Green Deal, trade agreements, the EFSD+, and the Gender action plan.