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» 22.04.2010 - President Ellen in Liberia poll headache
» 15.02.2010 - IMF commissions a mission to Liberia
» 22.12.2009 - First female wins Liberia's youth leadership award
» 18.12.2009 - Liberia exempted from arms embargo
» 17.12.2009 - Media rights group condemns arrest of media players
» 01.12.2009 - Liberia pledges support to small farmers
» 07.10.2009 - Young Liberians to audition for top music award
» 02.10.2009 - West African biodiversity corridor high on Abidjan meeting

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Liberia | World
Politics | Economy - Development | Society | Human rights

Security and rebuilding in fragile states need a different approach, Zoellick

afrol News, 9 January - The World Bank President, Robert Zoellick has called for a different approach by the international community in dealing with post-conflict countries, saying securing and rebuilding fragile states should not be distant from another.

Speaking on the role of the World Bank and donors in Washington, Mr Zoellick said fragile states like the South Asia and other Africa states can create fragile regions that could then become global threats.

"To build legitimacy, we need to achieve concrete results, for example, the delivery of basic services, operated by national authorities working closely with local communities," he said.

The World Bank chief said Liberia had taken great strides in restoring its economy and improving the living standards of its people after years of civil war. However, he said donor assistance was waning even though the country needed more help.

"As President Johnson-Sirleaf told me, a dollar today is worth much more to us than 50 dollars in three years. But the development business as usual too often calls for a strait-jacket of track records clearances that take too long," he said.

Mr Zoellick said Liberia, Haiti and Afghanistan are typical examples of the fragile, poor, post-conflict countries where the World Bank last year spent US$3 billion to promote development.

"The new administration could give Liberia a high priority, with a strategy of building regional integration in West Africa," Mr Zoellick said.

The World Bank estimates that there are 1 billion people living in so-called fragile states where poverty and disease are rife and basic services are absent.

Liberia is Africa's oldest republic, but it became better known in the 1990s for its long-running, ruinous civil war which left around 250,000 people dead and many thousands more displaced by the fighting.

The conflict left the country in economic ruin and overrun with weapons. Corruption is also said to be rife and unemployment and illiteracy are endemic.

The West African nation was relatively calm until 1980 when William Tolbert was overthrown by Sergeant Samuel Doe after the food price riots.

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