LIBERIA – The Government of Liberia and the World Bank have signed a US$3.7 million Project Preparatory Advance (PPA) document intended to set the pace for a bigger International Development Association’s US$40 million to support the fisheries sector.

Liberia’s Minister of Finance & Development Planning, Samuel Tweah signed on behalf of the Government, while World Bank Liberia Country Manager, Dr. Khwima Nthana signed on behalf of his institution.

The new project will involve investments in improving the management of selected fisheries, improving the handling of fish and fish products and support to aquaculture.

It will be implemented in Montserrado and four other sites to be selected in four coastal counties.

World Bank Country Manager, Dr. Nthana said the agreement is in continuation of the World Bank’s support to Liberia fisheries sector.

The proposed project, he said, will integrate lessons learned from earlier projects within and outside the West Africa Regional Fisheries Program (WARF-P).

The WARF-P is a recently closed World Bank’s sponsored project that was instrumental in helping Liberia to, among other things, develop its Inshore Exclusive Zone (IEZ) for artisanal fishermen.

It also enabled the drafting and enacting of the legislation that was passed in 2019, complete registration of small-scale fishing fleets and improve its national fishing fleet licensing policies in a number of fisheries and an overall enhancement in licensing transparency.

The World Bank Country Manager also outlined that the US$3.7 million will be used to finance consultancy services and support for key PIU staff, comprising of a project coordinator, a procurement specialist, and an accountant.

In addition, the funding will support the purchasing of motor vehicles and their accessories, office equipment, and fishing nets, training and workshops, and conducting consultations with stakeholders including communities and county administration officials to identify potential subprojects on the Robertsport landing site cluster.

It will see the rehabilitation and expansion of the Mesurado Fishing Port into an Industrialized Modern Fishing Port with a Processing Facility and the construction of landing jetties in coastal counties.

Liberia has continued to lose huge revenue as all of its industrial tuna vessels (71) land in fishing port within the sub-region such as Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Sierra Leone.

Also, all the country’s fish product for exports are also routed through these countries.

Minister Tweah lauded the World Bank for its numerous development support to Liberia’s recovery project and said the project when fully implemented will boost the fisheries sector of Liberia.