Canada Steps Up Support to Offset Liberia's Multilateral Debt

Thursday, 7th June 2007
Monrovia, Liberia - The government of Canada has announced its readiness to assist Liberia clear its multi-lateral debt through internal resources of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). 

A communication from the office of the Canadian Finance Minister, addressed to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, said Canada stands ready to allocate its share of certain IMF internal resource refunds towards Liberia’s debt relief costs. The Canadian government, the Minister said in his communication, is also prepared to provide additional contributions, if required, to offset the costs, on a fair donor burden-sharing basis.

Canada expressed the hope that the approach it is taking in addressing Liberia’s debt problem will be adopted by other partners and will facilitate a quick resolution of the financing assurances issue, allowing Liberia to move quickly towards arrears clearance and debt relief.

According to an Executive Mansion release on Thursday, The Canadian government spoke highly of the progress government has made towards economic and political stability. “The recent confirmation by the IMF of strong performance under your 2006 Staff Monitoring Program, as well as the ambitious program for 2007, is a testament to the solid economic foundation that your government is building in Liberia,” the Canadians pointed out, assuring Liberia that Canada continues to engage constructively with its G7 Partners and donors to find a quick and equitable solution.

Canada expressed its willingness to helping Liberia permanently exit from the unsustainable debt burdens of its past.  Canada, the communication noted, believes that Liberia’s performance and ongoing commitment to reform warrants this strong support.

The formal communication by Canada stepping up its support for Liberia’s debt relief, follows a visit to that country in March by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.  During the visit, the Liberian leader among other leading Canadian officials, met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper; the President of the Canadian International Development Agency, Mr. Robert Greenhill as well Governor-general of Canada, the Rt. Honorable Michaelle Jean.