Poverty and the Policy Response to the Economic Crisis in Liberia

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Despite substantial progress towards peace, economic growth, and better governance since 2003, Liberia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. The objective of this study is twofold. First it is to provide a basic diagnostic of both consumption-based poverty and human development (especially education and health) in the country using the 2007 CWIQ (Core Welfare Indicators Questionnaire) survey. Second, it is to assess the likely impact on the poor of the recent economic crisis, and especially the increase in rice prices, and to document the targeting performance of various measures taken by the government in 2008/09 to help the poor cope with the crisis. These measures included a reduction in import taxes for rice, a reform of the personal income tax, and the implementation of a cash for work temporary employment program.