Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: ‘American Aid is Lifting Liberia’

Over the weekend, The Washington Post ran an op-ed by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in which she elaborates on the partnership between Liberia and the U.S. that has helped set her country on a path to recovery, and even growth, following a decades-long civil war. She writes: “Thanks to our partnership with the American people, we are rebuilding roads, clinics, and schools, and expanding access to electricity, water, and sanitation. It is critical that this aid continues in next year’s budget.”

With economic growth averaging 7.2 percent in recent years, President Sirleaf hopes to one day reach a point when American aid is no longer needed—a principle guiding the thinking behind the Obama administration’s development initiatives. Yet, she reminds the reader that time is not yet and the critical support the U.S has offered, whether it’s providing greater access to clean water through the Global Health Initiative or basic infrastructure improvements, is still needed. In closing, she argues for continued U.S. investment, writing:

“Indeed, on a June visit to the United States, I met with congressional leaders and administration officials to make the case for sustained foreign assistance to Liberia. I explained that we are not seeking an open-ended commitment but, rather, support in the next few years of our transition. I am confident that such aid would, within a decade, allow Liberia to sustain its own development and end its need for foreign aid.”

To read the full piece, click here.


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