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IFC and Sida Launch New Phase of Program to Support Private Sector Development in Liberia

Monrovia, Liberia, June 15, 2011 -- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Swedish International Development Agency have launched the third phase of the Liberia Private Sector Development Program , which is helping Liberia build a strong private sector that will attract investment and create jobs.
The program’s third phase will be co-funded by Sida and managed by IFC, in partnership with the Government of Liberia and private sector stakeholders. It will be supported by IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa (CASA) initiative and focus on three components to encourage private sector development in Liberia:
·        Support for the development of financial infrastructure to increase access to finance
·        Support for SME growththroughcapacity development and access to markets
·        Support for a business-enabling environment through investment climate reform
Jumoke Jagun-Dokunmu, IFC’s Resident Representative in Liberia, said, “This phase of the program will continue to address crucial challenges to private sector development in Liberia, especially the key constraints of access to finance and SME capacity. The program is supporting Liberia’s efforts to grow its economy by strengthening local businesses and encouraging more local and international investment.”
Dr. Gun Eriksson Skoog , Country Manager, for Development Cooperation, Embassy of Sweden, said, “The IFC-managed program in Liberia has a good track record, which reflects not only Liberian stakeholders’  need for and willingness to implement reforms, but also IFC flexibility and innovation. The third phase will focus more strongly on creating linkages and opportunities for broad-based, inclusive economic development. These efforts are fully in line with the Swedish government’s development co-operation strategy for Liberia, which supports agricultural development and business, including regional and international trade.”
Reforms supported by the first two phases of the Liberia program have generated $11-13 million investment in the private sector; led to a 20 percent increase in the number of formal businesses; created about 20,000 new jobs, and led to savings worth $4.7 million for the private sector.  
IFC Advisory Services in Africa provides a range of solutions to support private sector development. In countries emerging from conflict, IFC engagements are sensitive to local context and take into account the complex processes of change. IFC reengaged in Liberia in 2006 upon request of the newly-formed government.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit .
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About Sida
Sida works according to directives of the Swedish Parliament and Government to reduce poverty in the world. The goal of Swedish development cooperation is to contribute to making it possible for poor people to improve their living conditions. Sida is organized in nine departments. The overall objective of Swedish development cooperation with Liberia is to strengthen peace, respect for human rights, democratic governance and the effective implementation of Liberia’s poverty reduction strategy.
About CASA
IFC’s CASA initiative is a multi-donor private sector development program in fragile and conflict-affected states in Africa. It is an integrated, rapid-response approach to developing the private sector in these African countries over the long term. The program is supported by donors Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway.