“We’ll Keep Liberia’s Economy Moving in this Ebola Dilemma”

first_imgAs the Ebola virus continues to spread through West Africa and the diaspora, the chief of party of USAID Liberia’s investing for Business Expansion Program (IBEX), Mrs. Watchen Harris Bruce, says her organization will continue to keep the economy moving by facilitating essential loans for local businesses in the country.Mrs. Bruce, who disclosed this initiative to the Daily Observer Tuesday, said that  in total, IBEX helped four local businesses to access loans totalingUS$860,000 during the month of July and September 2014.She continued: “Now more than ever,Liberian businesses need access to finance to allow them to operate, to pay suppliers, and to help their businesses through these difficult times.”The IBEX chief of party said that one of the most important ways they assist local business is by advising clients on improving their loan applications.Recently, “We helped clients in the construction, agricultural, general merchandize and trade sectors to keep their businesses operational despite the challenges brought on by Ebola.  A number of international organizations are also seeking IBEX’s assistance in identifying local businesses that can supply sanitary materials and local construction companies that can build Ebola treatment centers.”According to her, Efforts to control the Ebola virus,  including severely restricting the movement of people, goods and money,  have had unintended consequences for countries like Liberia. “Keeping the economy functioning and the credit flowing at these challenging times is more important than ever,” she noted.Mrs. Bruce continued, “Local businesses are being forced to change their economic activities and adopt new marketing strategies because of the catastrophic impact of the Ebola crisis. IBEX also provides clients and partner banks with loan advisory and loan facilitation services through one-on-one meetings, mentoring, coaching, counseling and advising by email or on mobile phone.” Further loan packages for three additional local businesses, valued at US$205,000, are in active process, and three projects valued at over US$1 million have been submitted to partner banks, Mrs. Bruce declared.Moreover, she said IBEX has been engaged with stakeholders on paying health workers and teachers in the rural areas through Lone Star MTN mobile money service.In another development, IBEX and local business support service providers met on September 18, 2014 to brainstorm on forming a consortium on how to improve local Liberian  business initiatives.The training meeting took place at the program’s Murex Plaza office in Sinkor.  Participating were nine representatives from a cross-section of service providers, ranging from government institutions involved with business services to private sector firms. Presiding, IBEX Deputy Chief of Party Augustus J. Flomo said, “This event was to continue the discussion IBEX started in 2013 to establish a National Business Development and Advisory Center that will provide technical assistance and support services to local businesses through aconsortium.”Meanwhile, the Liberia Investing for Business Expansion Program (IBEX) is funded by USAID and implemented by IESC under the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA). Since 2012, IBEX has been working to improve Liberia’s lending environment for seven productive sectors (agriculture, clean energy, construction, transportation/logistics, general merchandize trade, infrastructure and hospitality) through improved risk management and outreach, designed to reduce the risks and costs associated with lending in these sectors.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man, 40, ‘Commits Suicide’ in Gbarnga

first_imgResidents in the LPMC Road Community in Gbarnga on Monday, September 10, were shocked following the discovery of the lifeless body of a man believed to be in his 40s. Community members identified the deceased as Dorwan Beah, alias D-1. Dorwan was discovered in his bedroom, surrounded by bottles of alcoholic beverages.According to an account released by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), D-1, a famous tyre repairer in Gbarnga, had persistently accused his fiancée, Bendu Joe, of being in an extra relationship, something which, police suspected, had kept the two separated for a while.Police records established that as a result of the intensity of the confusion between the two, Bendu had been living temporarily with her sister (not named) in the same community up to the time D-1 died.It was also established that the LPMC Community went into confusion when the corpse of D-1 was found on his four inch mattress, surrounded by empty bottles of Pastis (liquor), which were found under a blue plastic chair in the deceased’s room.Police have not established the actual cause of death, but it is widely speculated that D-1 died as a result of excessively drinking the liquor on “empty stomach.”One account has it that since the confusion broke out between D-1 and his fiancée, he has often been in the community shop drinking in order to endure his “frustration.”Bendu Joe told police investigators that her boyfriend in recent times accused her of being in an affair with another man, “and because of the allegation, D-1 has always been in the constant habit of raining insults at me.”“Since we got together, I don’t even know the year, using insult has never been his behavior. But since the confusion started between us, things have been bad with me. Sometimes he will beat on me and insult me in the open,” Bendu told police investigators, with tears streaming down her chest.She said as a result of her boyfriend’s irrepressible behavior, she decided to sleep at her sister’s house in the same community.“The evening D-1 took his own life away, he came to my sister’s house demanding that I go with him to sleep, but I refused, only to see his lifeless body the next morning,” Bendu said.“We have children, but my worry is who will take care of those children,” Bendu cried.A fifteen-man jury was set up on Monday by police to examine the body and establish cause of death, but the jury reported that there was no foul play.Meanwhile, the body has been turned over to the family for burial.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more