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first_imgThe Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has approved US$256.7 million grant to Liberia under the Millennium Challenge Compact program.The grant was approved during the MCC Board’s annual meeting held on September 7, in Washington D.C and chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.The Board’s approval now paves the way for the formal signing of a bi-lateral agreement (to be known as the Liberia Compact) between the Liberian and U.S. governments to be held in the United States by October.It will fund projects in electricity, road maintenance, reforms and capacities building and also replace the damaged water supply line from Mt. Coffee Hydro Plant to the White Plains Water Treatment Plant.Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara M. Konneh will sign on behalf of the Government of Liberia, while Ms. Dana Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, will sign on behalf of the US Government.Upon signing, the Compact will be submitted to the Liberian National Legislature for ratification.The Liberian government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, has welcomed the news and praised the U.S. Government for the Compact Grant, noting that it will significantly impact the lives of ordinary Liberians through poverty reduction, job creation and economic growth.The Finance Ministry noted that Liberia’s road to the Compact began in 2008 with the Threshold Country Program through which the U.S. Government provided US$15 million grant to support the Liberian government’s interventions to increase girls’ primary education completion, land rights and access, and to improve Liberia’s trade policy, all of which have contributed to Liberia’s recovery.The Compact program is competitive, and requires countries to meet key indicators relevant to economic and political governance. These include ‘Governing Justly’, which measures the protection of civil rights including the right to free speech; and ‘Control of Corruption’, measuring government’s transparency and accountability in public financial management. Liberia continues to make progress on those and other key indicators, in spite of the many challenges.Meanwhile MFDP has disclosed that MCC CEO Hyde has telephoned President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf to inform her of the MCC Board’s decision and congratulated her for Liberia’s success in securing the MCC Compact Grant.The MCC Board has also approved a Compact Grant with Morocco and a Threshold Program with Sierra Leone. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_img FIFA have been testing VARs at selected matches and events 1 England will play with a video assistant referee for the first time in their friendly against France on Tuesday.The VAR experiment is being trialled by FIFA at selected matches and events, with wider implementation and a role in the 2018 World Cup to follow, but is not currently mandatory.Both associations have to agree to its use under current rules and the Football Association was happy to give its assent.Italian referee Davide Massa will be officiating the match, with two conventional assistant referees supplemented by compatriots Marco Guida and Massimiliano Irrati providing television support. They will be based in a video operation room which can be, but does not have to be, inside the stadium. They VARs will be on hand to review and advise on four distinct issues: goals where there may have been a violation or offside missed during the build-up, penalty decisions, red cards and cases of mistaken identity.In all instances the on-pitch referee will make officiate as normal but there will be recourse to utilise technology, initiated either by the VAR or by the referee, who can call for a review process by outlining a square with his hands.In such situations replays must show a clear error for the referee’s original decision to be over-turned.Players who crowd the referee or make gestures signalling for a review to occur may be booked.France have already played with VAR conditions, with decisions going against them twice during their 2-0 friendly defeat by Spain in March.Antoine Griezmann saw a goal chalked off for an offside that went unseen in real time and Spain’s Gerard Deulofeu then had a goal ratified on referral when an offside flag was incorrectly raised.The VAR trial was agreed at the meeting of the International Football Association Board meeting in Cardiff last June.A briefing note released at the time read: “The aim of the experiment is NOT to achieve 100% accuracy for all decisions as there is no desire to destroy the essential flow and emotions of football which result from the game’s almost non-stop action and the general absence of lengthy stoppages. The philosophy is minimum interference, maximum benefit.”last_img read more

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