Liberia to print more banknotes in fight against depreciation

As the Liberian dollar continues to depreciate against other currencies, the country’s House of Representatives has voted in favour of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s request to print additional banknotes.

The Liberian dollar has consistently and significantly depreciated on the global exchange market, trading as low as $67 LRD to $1 Cdn. (or about $90 LRD to $1 USD), marking a low point in Liberia’s financial history. But despite the tough times and ongoing push to print more banknotes, not all Liberian officials agree on the matter.

“The Speaker and … the Unity party have agreed and decided a need to print more money to fund their campaigns,” said Representative Edward Forh, of the opposition party Congress for Democratic Change. “We thought that by printing more money it will escalate the already depreciated Liberian dollar ….”

EXPLAINER

Because Liberia operates as a dual-currency regime – with both the U.S. and Liberian dollars serving as legal tender – even minor fluctuations in the exchange rate can have far-reaching effects. Front Page Africa explains while basic commodities are generally sold in Liberian dollars, the country’s business owners must use U.S. dollars to make purchases on the foreign market. To compensate for the loss of exchange, business owners will increase the prices of their products, leaving the already impoverished consumers to bear the brunt of the cost.

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