U.S. Ambassador Doubts Weah Gov’t’s Ability
United States Ambassador, Michael McCarthy, has expressed skepticism regarding the ability of the Weah government to manage United States government-sponsored projects in the country.
According to Ambassador McCarthy, the government is barely capable of upkeeping existing makeshift facilities which requires a few thousands of dollars to maintain annually; as such, he wonders whether the government can handle projects that require millions of dollars for maintenance.
He made reference to a town in which he said administrators looked with anticipation mixed with fear at the brand-new, modern hospital that sits vacant, knowing that they can barely keep the existing makeshift facility going, and running the new one will require ten times the resources.
Ambassador McCarthy disclosed that the United States government is about to spend a total of over US$40 million to construct Liberia’s state-of-the-art National Reference Laboratory (NRL) which, when completed, will require US$3 million to US$4 million a year from the Government of Liberia (GOL) to operate. “If the Government is failing to deliver statutory appropriations of only US$100,000 to existing hospitals, why would we ever trust annual pledges of US$3 million for the future NRL?” he wondered.
The US diplomat expressed his doubt in a statement he made on Monday, April 24, 2023 after visiting all the fifteen political subdivisions of the country, as he had promised the US Congress of being an ambassador to all Liberia and not Monrovia alone.
He explained that during his trip to the leeward counties he was startled and deeply troubled to encounter multiple county hospitals that received not one penny of what they were promised in the 2022 budget. “Hospitals on which lives depend, where outbreaks are prevented and suffering is alleviated, did not receive any portion of the US$100,000 or more appropriated by the Legislature for them to operate,” he said.
He boldly stated that, should the U.S. Congress ask how the elite in Monrovia are treating destitute citizens in the leeward counties, his honest response would have to be, “Those citizens are treated with a neglect that borders on contempt.”