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€1.5m to Support Decentralized COVID-19 Response

The Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr Francis Kai-Kai has launched a new initiative with our development partners to mobilise resources to strengthen COVID 19 fight in Sierra Leone.

The initiative, known as ‘Team Europe Initiative’ was launched on Tuesday, 28th July 2020 at their Tower Hill office in Freetown geared towards strengthening and decentralising the response, targeting most vulnerable communities.

The European Union and Ireland combined to mobilise resources of approximately 1.5 million EUR (or 16.5 Billion Leones) for the purpose to be implemented through two coordinated interventions in partnership with CSOs across 11 districts in the country and reaching an estimated 400,000 individuals.  

Development Secretary of the ministry, Peter Sam-Kpakra who chaired the occasion and also introduced the minister, welcomed the delegation and thanked the EU, Ireland and their implementing partner NGOs for the initiative and in particular their continued support to government’s effort in the fight against COVID-19.

Addressing the gathering, Minister Kaikai once again welcomed the visiting team on behalf of the government. He gave his positive impression about the ‘Team Europe Initiative,’ saying it would localise and transfer development to the people, thereby enormously cushioning government’s efforts in its response against the pandemic. He appreciated the implementing organisations for playing a significant role by in the development of the process and for reaching out to people in the remotest areas.

“We considerably rely on NGOs to deliver on development outcomes and your role is critical to the COVID response and I wish to tell you that your efforts have not gone unnoticed by this government,” he said.  He urged them to continue to collaborate and coordinate with other partners and stakeholders on the ground to improve on the lives of the ordinary people. 

In a short statement, the Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Lesley Ní Bhriain said the initiative was a testament of his country’s overarching priority in contributing to reducing the incidence and mitigating the impact of the pandemic among vulnerable populations.  He also encouraged partners to make the ‘Build Back Better’ slogan a reality so that projects while responding to an emergency can also contribute to the goals and objectives of the Medium Term National Development Plan (2019-2013).

Also to make a statement was the Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone, Jamila El-Assaidi who said the Initiative was the localized expression of the EU’s global commitment to help most vulnerable countries in Africa, and across the world. She noted that the partnership with Ireland was proof of the EU’s utmost commitment to jointly move aid effectiveness from policy to practice.

Madam Assaidi congratulated the President Bio-led government for its commitment and efforts to support a multi-stakeholder response to the pandemic and for the Minister’s efforts in recognizing the critical role played by all stakeholders including NGO’s, grassroots organizations and local councils among others. 

Other dignitaries present included Country Directors of Trócaire, Concern Worldwide and Goal International including local actors from AAD-SL, SEND and KADDRO among others 

Credit: MoPED COMMS TEAM

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