The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the fourth review under an Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement for Liberia and has approved the disbursement of US$10.2million.A press release, a copy of which was received the Daily Observer, said the current action made its total disbursement under the arrangement to about US$95.8 million.Completing the review, the IMF Board approved waivers for the non-observance of the performance criteria on government revenues and central bank net foreign exchange position. The Board also approved the re-phasing and extension of the arrangement to the end of 2016 in light of the delays caused by the Ebola outbreak.In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, the IMF supported Liberia with an ad hoc disbursement of about US$44.7 million in augmentation of access under the current ECF Arrangement.The Board also approved about US$44.7 million disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility (RCF) as well as debt relief under the Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) Trust. The total financing of about US$125.2 million helped the country meet urgent balance of payments and fiscal needs resulting from the epidemic.Following the Executive Board’s discussion of Liberia, Mr. David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair said, “Liberia overcame the Ebola epidemic, due to decisive policy actions, unprecedented international support, and strong community engagement but the sharp decline in global commodity prices is holding back the economic recovery.”He added: “Performance under the authorities’ Fund-supported program has been uneven as a result of the epidemic and, to a lesser extent, policy slippages. A still challenging economic situation underscores the importance of strong program implementation in the period ahead to sustain macro-economic stability, improve policy credibility, and secure additional donors financing.“Fiscal policy next year will remain accommodative to support the recovery. Reallocation of resources toward the health and education sectors is appropriate. In light of limited fiscal space, caution is needed in considering tax relief for companies in the commodity sector. The authorities should also press ahead with addressing public financial management weaknesses and further strengthen revenue administration.”He said borrowing polices should remain prudent in the context of lower growth prospects and financing needs, particularly for large investment projects, should be covered mostly with grants and concessional loans.“This approach would facilitate needed capital projects while preserving debt sustainability. Rebuilding external buffers in Liberia’s dual currency regime requires containing the central bank’s operational expenses and limiting foreign exchange intervention only to smoothing volatility,” he explained.More effective liquidity management and further development of monetary policy instruments will help safeguard price stability, he said, “Strengthening the prudential oversight of the banking system and the framework for crisis management remains critical to tackle threats to financial stability.”The ECF arrangement for Liberia was approved by the IMF’s Executive Board on November 19, 2012 for SDR 51.68 million (about US$71.6 million) and was extended on October 14, 2015 to allow for the completion of the fourth review, the release said.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon State Police say a trooper has been wounded during a traffic stop on Interstate 84 east of The Dalles.The agency has not described the extent of the injury. A spokesman says the suspect involved in the shooting died Thursday afternoon.More officers were headed to the scene.The state Department of Transportation says the freeway is closed in both directions between Biggs Junction and Rufus and is expected to remain that way all afternoon.The stretch of I-84 between milepost 105 and 109 is expected to remain closed for 5 or 6 hours, said Trooper Will Finn, spokesman for the Washington State Patrol. Motorists will be diverted to Highway 14 via Highway 97 and 197, which may result in heavy traffic on the Washington side of the river until 10 p.m. this evening, according to the Washington State Department of Transportation.
By Micha Green, AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor, firstname.lastname@example.orgHundreds of Howard University students are participating in a sit-in for the fifth straight day after last week’s report that approximately $1 million in financial aid funds had been misappropriated, causing a national scandal, Black Twitter uproar, and the Internet’s gift- memes of the alleged student embezzler, Tyrone Hankerson Jr.Led by the student group, HU Resist, the student activists have occupied the Mordecai Wyatt Johnson Administration Building and presented the administration with a list of demands. The list of demands include, an end to “unsubstantiated tuition hikes”, actively fighting “rape culture” on campus, more housing accommodations for students looking to live in gentrifying D.C. neighborhoods, the “immediate resignation” of Wayne A.I. Frederick, the school’s president, and the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees.Howard University students hold a press conference about the protest in the Administration building. (Photo by Edgar Brookins for the AFRO)The students are using Twitter as a mobilizing force and are regularly updating their page in order to ask for support, such as financial, food, and sleeping bags, and keep followers abreast of their work and progress.After protesting through the weekend and Easter holiday, the group’s April 2 tweet, asked for help with food supplies.“Thank you to everyone that has provided support and food. We are in need of hot food for lunch. We need vegan/ vegetarian options as well. Please dm [direct message] us if you’re willing to help.”Even in their requests for support, the student group is even giving back to the community.“Yesterday we continued our Food Pantry and donated some of our excess food to homeless members of the community. We managed to feed about 500 people,” the organization wrote.According to The Root, Veritas1867, the person who originally posted the now deleted Medium article that anonymously leaked the financial aid scandal and named Hankerson as one of the main culprits, said that the student protestors are “just getting started”.“The alumni and the board want to make this about numbers but this is really about people, and about how they’ve been abused,” Veritas told The Root on Sunday.Veritas, who prefers the pronoun “they” called Howard’s president “a bully who intimidates people. He’s done that to faculty he’s done that to students for years. And he has gotten away with it. The reason this thing has gone on for so long is that people were afraid of him, but this time we’re not afraid.”Vertias said, “Chase,” the student informant who provided what they called proof of the financial aid scandal, is experiencing intimidation from Howard’s community after his name was leaked through various social media sources.“They want to humiliate him and silence him,” says Veritas. “And sadly, it’s working. He’s in a whole other state, he doesn’t want to talk to press. He’s not at ease,” they said.Veritas said they and HU Resist are now standing in solidarity with Chase and other struggling students.““It’s time for new leadership. Alumni and the administration think this is about financial aid but the truth is that [Frederick] has created a culture at the university where people don’t hold people accountable,” Veritas said.The students met with the administration on Sunday and at least one of their demands, extending the housing application deadline to May 1, was met.“We have no plans to leave until our demands are met,” they said.