“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

Volleyball Defeats Evansville And Advances to MVC Tournament

first_img Next Game: Box Score (HTML) vs. Bradley 11/22/2018 – 5 p.m. Watch Live Full Schedule Roster EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Drake University volleyball team persevered through a five-set win over Evansville to end the regular season with a win and clinch a spot in next week’s Missouri Valley Conference Tournament.Drake’s critical 3-2 win came by set scores of 25-23, 25-18, 15-25, 21-25, 15-13.Cathryn Cheek (Coppell, Texas) again led the Bulldogs with 18 kills to finish the regular season with 15-straight matches in double-figure kills. She also added 17 digs for another double-double and five blocks at the net. Natalie Fry (Allen, Texas) had seven blocks along with three kills. Freshman setter Caitlyn Smith (Marion, Iowa) notched a double-double as well with 31 assists and 18 digs. Rachel Tam led Evansville (10-21, 4-14 MVC) with 20 kills and 17 digs.The Bulldogs closed the regular season with a 20-13 overall record and an 8-10 mark in the MVC. The Bulldogs’ 20 wins mark the program’s seventh-ever 20-win season and the first back-to-back 20-win season since 2010. After taking the first two sets with ease, Evansville claimed the next two sets to force a fifth and decisive set with the Bulldogs’ postseason hopes hanging in the balance. With the score tied at 7-7, Drake engineered a 4-0 run behind Madi Ford’s (Coralville, Iowa) serving to take an 11-7 lead. Evansville briefly challenged that lead, but Drake had enough cushion to close the set on a Cheek kill to win the set, 15-13, and advance to the MVC Tournament with the 3-2 win.As the No. 6 seed in the MVC Tournament, Drake will take on No. 3 seed Bradley Nov. 22 at 5 p.m. in Springfield, Mo. The contest and the entire MVC Tournament will be broadcast on ESPN+. Live Statscenter_img Preview Box Score (PDF) ESPN+ Print Friendly Version Story Linkslast_img read more