Sierra Leone Telegraph: 2 August 2020:
Last Thursday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone launched the nation’s Post-Ebola Recovery Social Investment Fund (PERSIF) venture, five years after the nation was declared freed from Ebola by WHO.
The intention of the PERSIF venture is to offer fundamental social companies and rebuild native financial livelihoods and assist job creation.
Key parts and deliverables of the $12.four million venture embrace – fundamental social companies supply, provision of medical tools and medicines for Maternity Centres, Primary Health Units, and Community Health Posts, enhance native financial livelihoods and job creation by creating entry to finance and assist financial exercise and cross-border commerce.
Addressing his viewers, president Bio mentioned: “Ebola took a heavier toll on our communities where the disease was most prevalent — especially on our border and some urban communities. Education, a thriving informal economy, healthcare infrastructure, and basic social services collapsed. In the circumstance, vulnerable populations (orphans, the old, the sick, the disabled, women) fared even worse.”
The president identified that the socio-economic and well being indicators since 2014 are nonetheless solely marginally higher in these communities, including that six years on, the deep and painful footprints of the Ebola Virus Epidemic are nonetheless with Sierra Leoneans, after it claimed 1000’s and, most significantly, tons of of the lives of medical employees.
“To get these susceptible populations and susceptible communities on the pathway to inclusive and sustainable improvement, due to this fact, we emphasised in numerous clusters of our Medium-Term National Development Plan (2019-2023) that we should put in place essential enablers of socio-economic improvement and transformation. These embrace offering fundamental social companies and the regeneration of native financial exercise.
“In our New Direction manifesto, we promised ‘efficient and effective management of the state that will make Sierra Leone a significantly better country through, among other things, inclusive politics, inclusive economic growth, inclusive development.’ This means that vulnerable people and vulnerable communities should be accorded an equal chance to thrive. To our minds, uneven investments in development do not make for sustainable development,” he mentioned.
Minister of Social Welfare, Baindu Dassama-Kamara, emphasised the significance of offering social companies within the chosen locations, restore livelihood and financial alternatives for affected beneficiaries. She mentioned that the Association of Ebola Survivors is actively concerned within the implementation course of and famous that the venture is predicted to enhance group response to future outbreaks.
Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, mentioned that by means of efficient re-engagement, the New Direction Government has salvaged the venture, and that this may go an extended option to deal with the Ebola survivors who have been deserted by the earlier authorities. He assured of the federal government’s willpower to successfully implement the venture.
Country Manager of the African Development Bank, Dr Peninah Kariuki, mentioned that the venture is particular as a result of it addresses the particular wants of communities affected by the Ebola outbreak by restoring fundamental social companies and reviving native financial alternatives. She additionally reaffirmed the Bank’s dedication to working with the varied companions to making sure the well timed implementation of the venture.
This is the president’s speech in full:
“Six years on, the deep and painful footprints of the Ebola Virus Epidemic are nonetheless with us. We misplaced 1000’s of our compatriots and tons of of our medical employees. Two days in the past, we responded as a nation to that painful reminiscence at the same time as, however particularly as we’re confronted with the COVID-19 pandemic.
We instituted, for the very first time within the historical past of this nation, a wholly-government-paid-for group life insurance coverage scheme that assures that each healthcare employee who dies or is incapacitated in the middle of responsibility, is catered for with a beneficiant monetary bundle that I introduced. So to our healthcare employees, my Government continues to say by means of deeds and commitments that we worth your service to our nation and your peerless contribution to preserving wholesome lives and our human capital improvement agenda.
As speaker after speaker has famous, Ebola took a heavier toll on our communities the place the illness was most prevalent — particularly on our border and a few city communities.
Education, a thriving casual financial system, healthcare infrastructure, and fundamental social companies collapsed. In the circumstance, susceptible populations (orphans, the outdated, the sick, the disabled, girls) fared even worse. Socio-economic and well being indicators are nonetheless solely marginally higher in these communities, six years on.
In our New Direction manifesto, we promised “efficient and effective management of the state that will make Sierra Leone a significantly better country through, among other things, inclusive politics, inclusive economic growth, inclusive development.” This signifies that susceptible individuals and susceptible communities must be accorded an equal likelihood to thrive. To our minds, uneven investments in improvement don’t make for sustainable improvement.
To get these susceptible populations and susceptible communities on the pathway to inclusive and sustainable improvement due to this fact, we emphasised in numerous clusters of our Medium Term National Development Plan (2019-2023) that we should put in place essential enablers of socio-economic improvement and transformation. These embrace offering fundamental social companies and the regeneration of native financial exercise.
In essence, we consider that one saves lives throughout illness outbreaks, and one continues to save lots of lives within the wake of these outbreaks, when one sustains livelihoods. Our COVID-19 response, particularly with our Quick Action Economic Recovery Programme, primarily encapsulates our philosophy that resilience may be intentionally deliberate for, applied, measured, and constructed upon accordingly.
Our very sensible enthusiasm in transforming this venture since 2018 underlies the premium we place on the outcomes of this Post-Ebola Recovery Social Investment Fund (PERSIF) venture.
As I’ve already acknowledged, these outcomes are all essential to these human capital improvement priorities now we have set as a authorities.
Training extra expert beginning attendants and lowering maternal mortality, rising entry to potable water and sanitation, enhancing entry to healthcare, and rising faculty attendance are essential for the longer term inclusive and sustainable improvement wants of this nation.
Improved entry to finance, coaching in entrepreneurship particularly progressive enterprise concepts, will each have the influence of rejuvenating native border economies and lowering poverty and vulnerabilities in these communities.
By creating applicable establishments, coaching expert personnel and group teams, organising management, and constructing infrastructure.
Together, the outcomes referred to by numerous audio system will slim potential financial and social disparities in these communities. It may also make these communities extra resilient to the shocks of illness outbreaks. So when catastrophe strikes, the human toll and the post-disaster financial, social, and improvement tolls will probably be far much less opposed.
I’m due to this fact happy to announce the 2 key parts and deliverables inside every of these parts for this PERSIF Project.
COMPONENT 1 – BASIC SOCIAL SERVICES
- For delivering fundamental social companies, the Government of Sierra Leone, by means of the implementing ministry and allied businesses, will rehabilitate and supply medical tools plus an preliminary inventory of medicines for Maternity Centres, Primary Health Units, and Community Health Posts within the goal communities. The Project may also present residence tools for nurses’ quarters and motorbikes for outreach actions. Additionally, the venture will prepare, assist, and strengthen social employees and individuals offering psychosocial counselling.
- The Project may also present solar-powered water provide techniques in addition to hand-pumped techniques for well being models, colleges, and small communities.
- The venture will present pour-flush bogs for colleges and dry sanitation bogs for colleges and communities. Public sanitation services may also be constructed. Additionally, Community-Led Total Sanitation initiatives will probably be launched. To consolidate and maintain these Water and sanitation good points in these communities, the venture will set up WASH artisan coaching and WASH entrepreneurs coaching and committees.
COMPONENT 2: LOCAL ECONOMIC LIVELIHOODS AND JOB CREATION
The goal is to create entry to finance and assist financial exercise and cross-border commerce.
- The Project will assemble and supply workplace tools for Multipurpose Trade Facilitation, Information, and Learning Centres. The Government of Sierra Leone by means of the implementing ministries will prepare Forty Trade Facilitation, Information Officers.
- There is additional provision for coaching 4 thousand girls in feminine cross borders’ associations in grownup literacy and numeracy. To our minds, it is a essential enabler for enhanced entrepreneurial abilities.
- The Project will present start-up matching grants to seven thousand Cash switch beneficiaries (who will probably be primarily girls and ladies) and it’ll additionally conduct entrepreneurship coaching for money switch beneficiaries.
- The venture will finance new Micro-Projects and assist will probably be given to group teams, and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. It is my fervent hope that this venture will probably be applied with out the standard bottlenecks that forestall progress as it is extremely necessary to the lives of beneficiaries in these focused communities. It can be essential to my Government’s agenda of offering financial alternative to in any other case susceptible teams and absolutely together with these populations within the improvement ecosystem.
I’m assured, and I observe with pleasure, that essential institutional preparations are in place and the Mano River Union Secretariat, beneath the Secretary-General as Chair of the Advisory Board, will successfully carry out its coordinating position because the venture is applied in our sister Republics of Liberia and Guinea.
I additionally observe that the Project Fiduciary Management Unit of the Ministry of Finance will present enough supervision and efficient administration. Bear in thoughts that accountability and transparency are of paramount significance for this venture.
Corruption mustn’t hinder improvement good points particularly in susceptible communities and for susceptible populations.
I urge the Ministry of Social Welfare as executing company to offer the required institutional assist for implementing this venture. The “Multi-Sectoral Steering Committee” that’s chaired by the Ministry of Finance should present coverage steerage and oversight for the Project Coordination Unit that’s housed within the Ministry of Social Welfare.
I’d additionally prefer to underscore the significance of sturdy monitoring and analysis. I’m knowledgeable that the National Monitoring and Evaluation Department housed in my Office will collaborate with the venture group within the Ministry of Social Welfare to trace progress, undertake periodic monitoring of venture implementation, and be certain that venture targets and targets are met. I anticipate that well timed stories will probably be offered to my workplace on progress made on the implementation of this venture.
I’m additionally delighted to notice that the venture design acknowledges the necessary position of group stakeholders as beneficiaries of the venture. These will embrace primarily native opinion leaders, girls’s group leaders, and group youth group leaders in cross-border areas.
So let me conclude by thanking the African Development Bank that has labored in partnership with the multinational company, Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), to offer this grant. With their further pair of palms, my Government has right this moment applied programmes that may remodel native economies, present alternative, and remodel the lives of susceptible populations that proceed to be adversely affected by the Ebola scourge six years on.
It is due to this fact my singular honour to launch the Post-Ebola Recovery Social Investment Fund venture. I thanks all on your consideration.”