Liberia Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Project (LESSAP), the first of a multi-phase programmatic approach (MPA) with a goal to provide sustainable, reliable, and affordable electricity to 632,500 Liberians, is set to receive financial support from the World Banks International Development Association (IDA). As a matter of fact, the first phase of the commitment of US$ 44M in the form of credit and US$ 15M in the form of a grant has already been approved.
Additionally, grants of US$ 2.5M and US$ 2.7M were also allocated respectively by the Electricity Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP), a global knowledge and technical assistance program administered by the World Bank, and the Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) Fund, the World Bank’s first programmatic trust fund, financed entirely by the Government of Japan to help boost the skills, know-how, and expertise of government institutions in developing countries so they can better address their key development challenges.
Key targets of the Liberia Electricity Sector Strengthening and Access Project
The LESSAP will rehabilitate and expand electricity infrastructure and provide sustainable solutions for electricity access. It will target mainly two key areas i.e. grid electrification in the greater Monrovia area, and provide for a sustainable business model for scaling up renewable energy-based mini-grids and stand-alone solar systems in remote areas.
The project will also deliver off-grid solar electrification to about 200 health facilities, in particular, to help build resilience against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Improving economy and building resilience in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic
The World Bank’s support for this project is part of the institution’s efforts to support the country in improving its economy and helping to build resilience for vulnerable households that are greatly at risk of falling into poverty due to the impact of the COVID-19 novel virus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the North African country’s economy and people’s livelihoods and poses a major threat going forward,” says the World Bank in a statement.