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Symposium 2009

Implementation - Liberia’s Health Sector Pool Fund

The Challenge

In a number of territories primarily situated in the poorer parts of the world, the state no longer performs its basic security and development functions. Beyond causing hardship for their own citiz ...

In a number of territories primarily situated in the poorer parts of the world, the state no longer performs its basic security and development functions. Beyond causing hardship for their own citizens, failed states provide breeding grounds of organized crime and terrorism.

Liberia's Health Sector Pool Fund was established in 2009 by the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare to support the implementation of the National Health Plan. It started with four contributing donors, including UNICEF, UNHCR, DFID (UK Department for International Development) and Irish Aid. The amount of funds contributed at that time was US$13.5 million with prospects for further additional contributions. In an article published in January 2011, Jacob Hughes, wrote that "although it is a new mechanism, more than US$35 million has already been committed to the Health Sector Pool Fund, much of it by the UK's Department for International Development. One third of the government hospitals and clinics in Liberia are now being financed through it."

Liberia’s Health Sector Pool FundThe Fund was created with three main objectives

  • to help finance priority unfunded needs within the National Health Plan;
  • to increase the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) in the allocation of resources; and
  • to reduce the transaction costs associated with managing multiple different donor projects


According to its "Procedures Manual," the Fund is managed by different bodies:  All proposals for use of health sector pool funds must be developed by the MoHSW’s Project Coordination Team (PCT) in order to implement the National Health Plan (NHP). Proposals are to be approved by the Pool Fund Steering Committee, chaired by the Minister for Health and Social Welfare, assisted in management by a Pool Fund Manager. The Steering Committee ensures consistency with the aims of the NHP and review of performance, reporting and audit.

In his article Jacob Hughes stated that "unlike traditional MDTFs, Liberia’s Health Sector Pool Fund is managed from within the government but with participatory oversight that includes a steering committee made up of representatives from government, civil society and contributing donors. It relies upon government systems when it comes to planning, procurement, financial management and evaluation, and it relies on civil servants being enabled to do their jobs."

Sources: The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Republic of Liberia
http://liberiamohsw.org/PoolFund/Revised%20Procedures%20Manual,%20November%2024,%2009.pdf

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