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Health and Social Intervention are key factors for Economic Growth and Development… Deputy Finance Minister

4-2-2019-Hon.-Augustus-J.-Flomo-speaking

Monrovia, Liberia - Deputy Minister for Economic Management, Hon. Augustus J. Flomo, says Health and Social intervention are essential factors for economic growth and development.

Hon. Flomo spoke on Tuesday, when the Head of Mission and Director of Multilateral Surveillance and Trade, of the West African Monetary Institute paid a courtesy visit at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

He explained that health and social intervention have been a binding constraint for growth and development, stating that efforts have been made by the government, but challenges remained.

According to him, Covid-19 has taught Liberia that health is the economy. “If you look around in economic theory, before then, health was never in the park. All of us know that in the traditional economy, we looked at health and social intervention at the time; but right now, it is no longer social, people are seeing it as a major factor of the economy, so I also say to people that health is the economy now”, he added.

He noted that shipment and movement of things went down, commodities prices are high because of cost, while shipment and production are too huge, adding that businesses and people are trying to recover from the global economic shocks.

“We are looking at health issues and they are key to our development agenda. We will also continue our infrastructure development as a government. Development is also tied to the infrastructure and is in the context of road, energy and is very key for economic sustainability”, Deputy Min. Flomo revealed.

He stated that road connectivity will make it easier for efficient delivery of health and educational services, adding that without social services, “you cannot deliver them without a good road in a timely manner”.

The Deputy Minister explained that the President's vision about connecting the fifteen counties is extremely positive, and the government is working with development partners due to the fact that by addressing energy and roads, it will create a lot of opportunities across the country.

He pointed out that the issues of digitization are the new trend, which will reduce process, time spent and energy to achieving goals. “We believe that digitization of policies and plans will provide the opportunity for the economy to expand, because those who have different services using the digitizing line will provide the opportunity to the community” Flomo added.

He indicated that the Central Bank of Liberia, is working on the national payment system, and the MFDP’s is also working along with them from the fiscal policy side to support as much as the transformation can take place. “So that we can have a national switch that will allow the Central bank of Liberia to do regulation”.

“We are thinking about putting emphasis on our rich history of tourism, which Liberia has. We have not done much in terms of investment in the tourism sectors of the economy”, he added.

He revealed that in the government's economic recovery strategy, tourism is highlighted, because it should be the next area for the country’s economic strength.

He disclosed aid is being reformed in terms of performance and pattern of programs. “There are a lot of commitments we have put on the table for the new aid policy. We also launched the new aid policy framework on September 5, 2021, when we were still in COVID period. We did not rest until we concluded. We have a new aid policy with the goal of consolidating aid and with that consolidation, we will provide the opportunity for aid to align with the national properties.

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