Liberia - Economic development
The civil war and international financial obligations dim the prospects of economic development. While refugee resettlement looms as an early postwar priority, future economic development depends on reestablishing international confidence in Liberia's financial management.
Liberia formed the Mano River Union (MRU) with Guinea and Sierra Leone, to promote development and regional economic integration. Although the civil war caused the MRU to become all but defunct, in 2002 discussions on reviving the MRU took place. Foreign assistance to Liberia has declined, but Taiwan and Libya remain the largest donors of direct financial aid to the country. Western countries avoid direct aid to the government by sending assistance through international aid agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). In 2003, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suspended Liberia's voting rights in the Fund. As of February 2003, Liberia's arrears to the IMF amounted to $685 million.