Planning Minister, Dr Francis Kai-Kai and Country Director of CRS, Paul Emes
The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-Kai, last week launched Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Sierra Leone’s Vision 2030 Strategy. The event was held at the New BrookFields Hotel in Freetown, on the theme: “Faith Knows No Bounds.”
The document entails a 10-year program strategy that focuses on three strategic priorities: Education, Health and Agriculture; Livelihoods; and Urban Resilience. Paul Emes, the Country Director of CRS, in his welcome remarks at the event, noted that CRS commenced its work in Sierra Leone in 1963, thereby carrying out the commitment of the Catholic Bishops and Catholic community of the United States, with the objective of assisting the poor and vulnerable overseas, focusing efforts on supporting education projects and healthcare delivery for particularly mothers and children.
Mr Emes said the new strategy was designed to contribute to the Sierra Leone National Development Priorities, as established in the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019-2023 and the United Nations SDGs. In her opening statement, Her Worship, the Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, acknowledged CRS for its role in supporting the #TransformFreetownAgenda, saying that at the Freetown City Council, they believed that partnership was the only way development could be delivered successfully.
Mayor Aki-Sawyerr encouraged CRS to continue to be an organization that does not only produce documents, but also deliver services and change for the lives of those they seek to serve with passion, responsiveness, and alignment to the country in which they provide such services.
Dr Francis Kai-Kai, the Minister of Planning, in his Keynote address at the event expressed delight in participating in the launch of CRS’ Strategy. He said the event was an opportunity to reinforce the message of President Julius Maada Bio’s desire to accelerate service delivery for the people of Sierra Leone.
Minister Kai-Kai noted that he understood and appreciated the contribution of NGOs, especially CRS to national development, which was why his ministry had taken its relationship with NGOs to another level for the good of all.
“The Ministry and the Government of Sierra Leone recognize CRS’ long history of partnership with the Sierra Leone Government, which is based on trust, respect and mutually beneficial,” stated Minister Kai-Kai,” adding: “We consider CRS an exemplary NGO that has made an invaluable contribution in meeting the aspirations of Government and people of Sierra Leone.”