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NEWS Last modified on October 13, 2014

The EIB backs runway upgrade at Liberia's main gateway

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has backed urgent work to upgrade the runway at Monrovia Airport, which is Liberia's main gateway.

Money will be used to pay for urgently needed work to upgrade the runway and address safety at the country's capital city airport, and comes after Europe’s long-term lending institution, the EIB, struck an agreement in Washington D.C.

Amara M. Konneh, the Liberian Minister for Finance, says: “The European Investment Bank has always been a true partner to the people of Liberia. The airport rehabilitation project is another clear manifestation of that partnership.”

The 20-year $27.3 million (€19.6 million) loan for Monrovia’s Roberts International Airport was formally agreed on the sidelines of the World Bank IMF meetings in Washington at a ceremony.

The occasion also allowed detailed discussion of issues of pressing concern in Liberia, the government’s economic recovery plan and EIB engagement in West Africa.

Pim van Ballekom, EIB vice president, explains: “The European Investment Bank stands side by side with Liberia at this time of need. We will continue our engagement with Liberian officials, partner institutions and European Union Delegations in the region and will ensure that any support we can provide will be of best use.

“Upgrading Monrovia’s airport is essential for Liberia and we are pleased to share experience from similar projects elsewhere in Africa.” 

This is the first EIB operation with the Liberian Airports Authority and follows recent support for improving electricity generation in Liberia through backing for rehabilitation of the Mount Coffee Hydropower Plant.

The runway work will also include improvements to runway drainage and lighting and when complete will allow Robert International Airport to comply with international civil aviation standards.

The project is being co-financed with the Saudi Fund for Development and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa.

The EIB has provided €12.5 billion for new airports and airport upgrading in the last decade, including runway improvements in Maputo, upgrading regional airports in Tanzania, air traffic control in Madagascar and West Africa, and Europe's main hubs.

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