Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh and delegation have concluded constructive country-level discussions with the officials of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other development partners, aimed at mobilizing support for the government’s fight against the Ebola epidemic.In conversations with the World Bank, Konneh requested that the institution and other development partners use their convening powers to assist Liberia in raising additional resources to fight Ebola and also to support the country’s economic recovery plan.For more than a week, Minister Konneh and his delegation, including Central Bank Executive Governor Dr. J. Mills Jones, the president of the Liberia Bank for Investment and Development (LBDI, John B. S. Davies III, Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood, amongst others, have been in Washington DC working to make Liberia’s case for more support to be provided expeditiously to stop the killer virus and its destructive impacts on the nation.The delegation articulated clearly that Liberia was looking for new avenues of support to fight Ebola and deal with probable associated economic and social issues. The Liberian Team requested bilateral and multilateral partners to not re-program existing commitments but rather provide injection of new funds.Minister Konneh said the discussions were fruitful and Liberia was able to make a strong case for the World Bank to provide additional assistance following the provision of US$52 million of crisis funds last month.“We are aiming to raise around $50 million dollars as direct support and we hope our key projects will be accelerated, including work on the Redlight to Gbarnga road, and feasibility studies on the Ganta to Tappita road.”Minister Konneh also met with the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Raj Shah, who assured him that every support will be provided to help stop the transmission of Ebola.Discussions were also held with the Millennium Challenge Corporation over a possible funding window that could be harnessed to accelerate Liberia’s economic stabilization and recovery.Discussions with the IMF focused on additional support beyond the recent US$48 million dollars under the Extended Credit Facility program to be channeled through the Central Bank of Liberia.Representations were also made for additional commitments under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF).The Managing Director of the IMF, Madam Christine Lagarde, suggested to her colleagues that there is a need for more budgetary support for Liberia as short-term spending is critical during these difficult times.In the United States, Minister Konneh consummated a deal worth US$27 million dollars with the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the rehabilitation of the Roberts International Airport runway. EIB also expressed willingness to work together on future pipeline projects.In meeting with the Swedish International Development Office, Minister Konneh pleaded with the Swedes to increase their support to Liberia, beyond the US $10 million dollars committed through International Non-Governmental Organizations.In a related development, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) has agreed to provide an immediate injection of roughly US$15 million to the banking sector for trade financing.The IFC is also actively exploring ways to provide financing to small businesses, particularly in the Agriculture sector.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Neither club has officially confirmed or denied the deal, despite reports from France saying Mahrez would have a medical soon at Liverpool.The club’s number one target, according to many reports, is the French international forward Thomas Lemar, part of the impressive Monaco team that reached the Champions League semi-finals last year but which has since been dismantled.Comparing the most expensive transfer fees following the addition of Philippe Coutinho © AFP / Gal ROMAArsenal had a £92 million bid ($125 million, 104 million euros) for 22-year-old Lemar rejected in the summer transfer window and the player is reportedly keen to work with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.Monaco have already crashed out of the Champions League this season, so Lemar could be open to a move, although coach Leonardo Jardim is reluctant to see one of his remaining star names leave.“Monaco don’t usually make big sales in the winter,” Jardim said last week.Other reports have linked Liverpool with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, an increasingly divisive figure at the Emirates. His contract expires in the summer, meaning Arsenal either cash in on the Chilean now or risk seeing him walk away for nothing.Before the January transfer window even opened, Liverpool moved to address their defensive frailties by bringing in Dutch centre-back Virgil Van Dijk from Southampton for £75 million, one of the most expensive transfers in history.– PSG clearout –Arsenal, who were dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Nottingham Forest on Sunday, face a similar dilemma with Mesut Ozil, who is also out of contract in the summer.Meanwhile, Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted he has been in talks about bringing Theo Walcott back to the club from Arsenal.The enormous TV receipts enjoyed by Premier League clubs forces many into the transfer market to compete with the biggest earners in their own division.Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has admitted he has been in talks about bringing Theo Walcott (L) back to the club from Arsenal © AFP/File / Ben STANSALLSo Everton, still far from safe from relegation after a dreadful start to the season, have signed a much-needed centre-forward in Cenk Tosun on a four-and-a-half-year deal worth a reported £27 million.The forward has scored 41 goals in 96 Turkish Super Lig games for Besiktas.Leicester City will fight to keep Mahrez, who was one of the driving forces when the unfashionable club won the Premier League title in 2016.But if Mahrez is tempted away — and he reportedly has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if a substantial bid comes along in this window — then Leicester’s French boss Claude Puel could turn to Hatem Ben Arfa, who has failed to break into Paris Saint-Germain’s star-studded first team.Ben Arfa has previous Premier League experience with Newcastle and he worked with Puel at Nice in the 2015-2016 season.PSG could be prepared to let Ben Arfa leave cheaply as the Qatari-backed club need to reduce their wage bill to comply with financial fair play rules after their spending reached stratospheric levels last summer with the world-record arrival of Neymar for 222 million euros, followed by the acquisition of the lavishly talented French teenager Kylian Mbappe.Brazilian midfielder Lucas Moura also looks set to be offloaded by PSG, with fellow Ligue 1 side Nantes entering the race for his signature.Javier Pastore could be allowed to leave the French capital, with Inter Milan leading the race for his services. The Argentinian may not have helped his case for by arriving back in Paris late from his New Year holiday.Several Premier League clubs are also said to be tracking two young talents in the Bundesliga.Bayer Leverkusen’s 20-year-old Jamaican winger Leon Bailey is said to be a target for Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, and German international midfielder Leon Goretzka could reportedly join Liverpool from Schalke 04 on a free transfer next summer.Two veteran German strikers, Sandro Wagner and Mario Gomez, will have new teammates when Bundesliga action resumes next weekend. Wagner is the new backup for Robert Lewandowski at league leaders Bayern Munich while Gomez has joined Stuttgart.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000It took the third largest amount ever paid for a footballer to prise Philippe Coutinho away from Liverpool and the rumour mill has already linked the club with Leicester’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez (R) © AFP/File / Lindsey PARNABYPARIS, France, Jan 8 – Philippe Coutinho’s 160-million-euro (Sh19.8bn) deal to join Barcelona is likely to unleash a series of big-money transfers, not least as Liverpool seek to re-invest the proceeds.It took the third largest amount ever paid for a footballer to prise Coutinho away from Liverpool and the rumour mill has already linked the club with Leicester’s Algerian winger Riyad Mahrez as a possible replacement for the Brazilian playmaker.