Speaking at the signing ceremony, Liberia’s Ministry of Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh said the agreement will positively impact the implementation of the nation’s new National Health Plan (NHP-2016-2020) which development took cautious consideration of all factors that led to the rapid spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) throughout the country.
Minister Konneh noted that the support will go a long way in helping the country implement the current National Health Plan for a five years period 2016-2020. “The FARA to the health sector seeks to strengthen public financial management; improve performance management at central and sub-national levels; and increase the use of facility and community-based health services in the country,” he intoned.
According to him, in order to accelerate disbursement of the US$59.1 million to the health sector, MFDP has setup a dedicated escrow account titled: “MOH/USAID FARA Escrow Account,” in which money disbursed by USAID to the consolidated Account will be moved within four working days. He said the account will be entirely managed by the Ministry of Health and not the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.
For her part, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn stated that the West African nation is grateful to USAID for its continued support to the health sector noting that the United States Government through USAID earlier aided the health sector of the country with US$42 million under FARA from 2011 to 2015.
The FARA, according to Minister Dehn, is a direct financial and technical support to the implementation of Liberia’s Health Plan, funding the roll-out of the Essential Package of Health Services (EPHS) and implementation of systems strengthening interventions at the central and county levels.
“With the US$42 million to the sector over a four year period, health services to the inhabitants of Bong, Nimba and Lofa counties, showed improvement.
“Owing to the tenants of the FARA, a culture of results-based management and performance improvement is being harnessed, health indicators in the three counties are improving and national systems of monitoring and supervision are being strengthened. All of these, including improvement in the quality of care and evaluation are high on the agenda of the MoH,” Minister Dahn maintains.
Also speaking during the signing ceremony, Mr. Anthony Chan, USAID/Liberia Mission Director said the FARA promotes performance and accountability. He said the FARA continues a history of innovation which begun under the first FARA of US$42 million by continuing to channel assistance directly through a line Ministry in Liberia.
However, Mr. Chan also noted that for the first time, an escrow account has been created for the FARA within the MFDP, further improving the efficiency and effectiveness of USAID’s assistance to the government of Liberia.
Meanwhile, the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Aid Management and Coordination Unit, with technical support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), held a multi-stakeholders’ consultation intended to increase effectiveness in aid management nationwide.
MFDP, in a press release, quoted the organizers as saying that the consultation was meant to review and discuss a monitoring guide 2015-2016 developed to advance Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (EDC). The aid management platform was established as a result of the Paris, France and Busan, South Korea declarations on aid effective management.
The consultation brought together about 60 participants including resource persons from line ministries, agencies, and commissions, representatives from the National Legislature, providers of development co-operation, civil society organizations, private sector and trade union. The meeting was held the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC) in Sinkor.
The MFDP release indicates that the meeting was aimed at facilitating data collection and validation process as well as ensuring an inclusive approach of all relevant stakeholders from both the public and private sectors.
“The meeting is an opportunity to raise awareness on the monitoring process, agree on which stakeholders should be involved, and agreed on a timeline, as well as the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder, Mr. Frederick B. Krah, MFDP’s Director of Aid Management and Coordination Unit told the participants.
He said the Global Partnership monitoring framework comprised of 10 indicators with focus on strengthening developing country institutions, increasing transparency and accountability of development co-operation, enhancing gender equality, and other developmental initiatives.
Mr. Krah further stated that the monitoring exercise will help provide evidence on progress, opportunities and obstacles in the implementation of effective development co-operation commitments in supporting mutual accountability and stimulate and/or inform multi-stakeholder decisions at country, regional and global levels on how to make development co-operation more effective, as inculcated in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda which aims at improving the quality, impact and effectiveness of development co-operation to help ensure the Sustainable Development Goals are achieved.
“This process is good and I encourage your full participation. This process will last up to March 31, when data collected will be submitted to the UNDP-OECD Joint Support Team for analysis and aggregation into a global progress report 2016. The findings from the monitoring exercise will be ultimately used to inform political dialogue at country, regional and global levels. In particular, the 2016 progress report will provide a key source of evidence at the second Ministerial meeting of the Global Partnership which is expected to be held in November, this year,” the MFDP’s Director of Aid Management and Coordination Unit maintained.