U.S. Ambassador-designate to Liberia pledges to fight corruption and promote economic growth

The newly nominated U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, Mark Toner, has said that the George Weah government has recognition for corruption and lawlessness and that he will do all in his power to fight against these vices during his assignment here.
Addressing the U.S. Congressional Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on Friday, October 20, Toner said progress made in Liberia since the end of the war in 2003 has been eroded by corruption and lawlessness in the current Administration.
“The United States is the largest bilateral donor to Liberia, with more than US$5 billion in bilateral assistance since 2003. That assistance has paid concrete dividends in the economic, education, security, and public health sectors”, Toner told the committee. “But that progress has also been heavily eroded by growing lawlessness and corruption within the present Administration”.
If confirmed, Toner plans to lead the US government’s efforts to hold “corrupt government officials accountable and keep Liberia on a path to self-reliance, so that ordinary Liberians see the benefits of private-sector growth and accountable government.” These efforts, he said, are geared towards ensuring that Liberia remains the United States’ most steadfast partner in Africa.
The US Ambassador-designate has a strong personal connection with Liberia, having served here as a Peace Corps volunteer—an experience he said kindled his desire to become a Foreign Service Officer.
“During that time, I had the privilege to work alongside many dedicated Liberian health professionals, people who showed up every day to work under difficult circumstances without any guarantee of a regular paycheck. These are the people who inspire me to this day through their commitment, courage, and determination”, Toner explained.
“If confirmed, it would be an honor to return as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Liberia, a country with which the United States shares a special bond rooted in our deep historical ties and preserved through our shared commitment to democracy, human rights, health security, economic prosperity, and regional stability.”
Liberia is also a country shaped by years of conflict, terror, disease, and hardship. It speaks to the Liberian people’s resilience when, in 2017, the country achieved a significant milestone by carrying out the first peaceful transition of power between two elected presidents in over 70 years.