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Archive for June, 2008

The German government pledged substantial funding to Liberian infrastructure projects Thursday at the start of a two- day visit by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to Berlin.
In the presence of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, German Development Minister Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul opened the international Liberia 2008 Poverty Reduction Forum this morning and announced that that German development cooperation support for Liberia this year would amount to a total of 15 million euros. 10 million of this will be provided to the Liberia Reconstruction Trust Fund, which focuses on infrastructure development.
In her opening statement, the Minister said: “Liberia’s people have suffered terribly. They deserve the support of the entire international community. So we are pleased to be able to host this conference.” She noted that in so-called “post-conflict countries” in particular, the international community needed to be involved on a long-term basis, thus contributing to peace.
Moreover, Germany will cancel Liberian debt amounting to 268 million euros. Liberia is one of the most heavily indebted developing countries worldwide. Since March 2008, the country has been participating in the international Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) debt relief initiative.

The Liberia Poverty Reduction Forum is being held in Berlin on 26 and 27 June 2008. At the conference, Liberia will present its Poverty Reduction Strategy. The Liberian government, donors and international institutions will discuss future goals and challenges in the area of poverty reduction and harmonize their efforts.

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FIFA and the Liberian Government opened an investigation this week into the deaths of at least eight people at a World Cup qualifying match in Liberia.

The tragedy happened before Liberia took the field against Gambia in a World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Monrovia.
The chief mortician of the city, Dominic Worlu, gave the reason for the deaths. In all, 16 people were taken to hospital.
Witnesses said the stadium was packed by noon with people who came in earlier to find seats for the match.
Worlu said illegal ticket sales might have led to many more fans being crammed into the stadium than the seating capacity allowed.
Football’s governing body Fifa said it was investigating the incindent.
In another development President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has declared this weekend as a period of national mourning in remembrance of those spectators who met their unfortunate death.
The 33,000-seat venue was built in 1987 and had been renovated after the country’s civil war ended five years ago.
United Nations peacekeepers closed the stadium gates on Sunday when it became clear it was already over capacity after thousands had entered using fake tickets.
Eyewitnesses reported that some security staff sold tickets and took money from fans without tickets to let them in.
The deaths occurred after dozens of people fell from upper-level seats onto spectators below when a metal barrier gave way.
The match was played and drawn 1-1.

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