April 17, 2009

U.S. Treasury congratulates Liberia

The U.S. Treasury congratulated Liberia Friday for its success in negotiating its way out of about $1.2 billion in outstanding private sector debt.

Liberia convinced creditors to accept $38 million -- including a $5 million contribution from the United States made last month -- to reduce its debt at a rate of about 3 cents on the dollar, the Treasury said in a statement.

With a relatively modest investment, the United States is supporting Liberia's efforts to become a self-sufficient and peaceful member of the global community, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said, adding Liberia's debt was now at a manageable level.

The G20 leaders expressed in London earlier this month that prosperity and growth must be shared among all countries, Geithner said. The new debt load, he said, would help Liberia maintain the economic turnaround begun under President (Ellen) Johnson-Sirleaf.

The Treasury's statement referred to years of conflict and instability and Liberia's new path of growth and development.