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Ebola outbreak will cause US$150m budget-shortfall

Finance and Development Planning Minister-Designate, Amara Konneh
Finance and Development Planning Minister-Designate, Amara Konneh

Minister Konneh attributed the budget cut to low production in the Agriculture and Transport Sectors.

He said: “Though Arcelor Mittal and China Union have renewed commitments to fulfilling projected proposals, the two companies will, however, not fast-track their commitments.”

This, according to Mr. Konneh, will affect production and job creation, because their royalties will be reduced.

The Finance and Development Planning Minister-Designate made the statement Thursday, October 2, 2014 when he appeared on State Broadcaster (ELBC) in Paynesville.

He noted: “As part of the negative effect of Ebola on the country’s economy, experts and managers of some companies, including Sime Darby, have left Liberia.”

Minister Konneh further noted: “The growth of the Liberian economy, projected at 6%, has dropped to 1%, due to the current health crisis.”

“Government will cut down on foreign travels, reduce expenditures and prioritize funding to handle the Ebola crisis, as well as compensation and salaries for civil servants,” he emphasized.

The Minister disclosed that the Government reached a decision to partner with the United Nations Agencies to tackle the Ebola virus spread.

“The decision is important, because the Government believes by doing so would quickly help the Liberian people.”

Minister Konneh added: “The UN procurement process is faster.”
He rejected reports that the Government has abandoned the war against Ebola to partners.

By James Akoi


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