25 June Press Brief

Monday, 25th June 2007
The Executive Mansion is pleased to note the positive things that happened over the past week;

(1)  We are pleased to note that United States Department of State has removed the Travel Advisory on Liberia and has replaced it with what is referred to as a ‘Consular Sheet’ on the Country. The Consular Sheet gives Americans intending to travel to Liberia a vivid picture as to what to do to have a successful stay. It highlights various areas, including entry/exit requirements, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety and road conditions among others. This is a clear vindication as to how the fortunes of Liberia are changing for the better under the strong leadership of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

(2)  The Group of 8 Industrialized Countries has given its support financing package for Liberia’s arrears clearance and debt relief. The G8 has referred to Liberia’s progress under the staff monitored program as ‘good’ and is calling on the international community to provide comprehensive debt relief. It also states that 90% of Liberia’s debt will be covered by the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) initiative.

(3)  The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the United States Department of Treasury has clarified that sanctions on blocking the property of certain persons as well as prohibiting the importation of certain goods from Liberia were targeted against the regime of former President Charles Taylor and not directed against the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Administration.

(4)  The Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 black women in the United States of America has assured their support to Liberia’s Health-Care Initiative on behalf of the 100 black Coalition, Atlanta Chapter, for a two year period. The Chapter is an advocacy group organization committed to serving women and children in the Atlanta metropolis and throughout the world in the areas of health, education and economic development.

(5)  The Visitor of the University of Liberia and President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has worked to make sure the arrears of the University of Liberia Faculty Association (ULFA) is paid at the earliest.

(6)  The Ministry of State for Presidential Affairs on Saturday, June 23, 2007, held a retirement and recognition program for 149 employees. The Ministry’s efforts serve as a model to be emulated by other government ministries and agencies. The package given to the retirees to show gratitude for their long years of service are as follows; employees working for 40 years and more was US$ 1000.00; 30-39 years was US$ 700.00; 25-29 years was US$ 500.00 and those serving under 25 years was US$ 350.00. The total amount given to the Ministry of State retirees was US$ 84,000.

(7)  President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has begun consultations with civil society groups and traditional leaders to share ideas on how to move the country forward. The Executive Consultations began last Friday with the Inter-Religious Council of Liberia and continues today with the Liberia Business Association and the Council of Chiefs.