Minister says it is vote of confidence in Ernest Koroma’s Government, as World Bank and DFID provide US $34 million support

Photo: l-r Charge D’Affairs  ai Counselor Sheku Mesali and World Bank Acting Country Director For Sierra Leone Sergiy Kulyk signing World Bank Documents for their principals)
The World Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) have again lent their support to Sierra Leone’s unprecedented opportunity for transformation and sustained growth, by making available the sum of thirty four million United States dollars ($34M) to the President Ernest Bai Koroma-led Government.

This was made known to the Charge D’ Affairs a.i of the Republic of Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington, Counselor Sheku Mesali, on Tuesday February 14th 2012 by the World Bank’s Acting Country Director to Sierra Leone, Sergiy Kulyk, during a ceremony marking the signing of the financing grant witnessed by Sierra Leone’s Deputy Information Minister Hon. Sheka Tarawalie at the Bank’s offices at 18 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20433 USA.

Two Documents were signed for two different supports: the first was for the sum of twenty six million United States dollars ($26M) approved by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors, and the second for eight million United States dollars ($8M) approved by both the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors and DFID’s Trust Fund Grant for four million United States dollars each.

Speaking before the signing ceremony, the Acting Country Director (SL) said the overall objective of the program is to support decentralized delivery of basic services in Sierra Leone: “ Specifically, the second phase of the project will focus on strengthening the capacity to manage decentralized services, improving availability and certainty of funding for local councils and developing the Inter–governmental fiscal transfer system.”

Sergiy Kulyk also said the eight million dollars ($8M) provided by the World Bank and DFID will go towards the development objective of building the capacity of the Government of Sierra Leone to improve on the management and regulation of the extractive industries sector.

He expressed optimism in the improvement of the economy and said there are signs for positive and expansive growth in Sierra Leone.

Ag Director Charge D’Affairs Sheku Mesali, Lawyer Christine Makori, Tawhid Nawaz Operations Advisor, Hon Sheka Shekito Tarawally, John Vandyck, and Vijay Paillai

Responding, Sierra Leone’s Charge D’Affairs ai Counselor Sheku Mesali thanked the World Bank Board of Directors and DFID for their support. He described the consistency that characterizes the support of the President Koroma-led government by these two institutions as laudable and assured the World Bank and DFID authorities that the money will be judiciously utilized.

In his comments, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications who doubles as Co-government Spokesman, Hon. Sheka (Shekito) Tarawalie, described the World Bank and DFID intervention as “a vote of confidence in the President Koroma-led government. These significant inputs from our international development partners coming even in an election year symbolize an endorsement of the excellent performance of the Sierra Leone Government”. Hon. Tarawalie also acknowledged a report titled ‘Beating-the-economic-downturn-in-Sierra-Leone-with-reforms’ authored by World Bank Country Manager Vijay Pillai on the World Bank blog published on Thursday 2nd February 2012, describing Pillai’s article as “well-researched, authoritative and thorough.” The Minister said the article, highlighting Sierra Leone’s constructive efforts at reforming and transforming the country under President Koroma, is a realistic refelection of the present situation in the country. He also praised Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens and staff of the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC for doing a commendable job.

Charge D’Affairs ai Counselor Sheku Mesali, Hon Sheka (Shekito) Tarawally, and Sheku Bangura Senior Advisor to the Executive Director

On January 27th 2012, Ambassador Stevens who is also accredited to the Bretton Woods institutions made an appropriate representation for a budgetary support of twenty four million United States dollars ($24M), a one–tranche budget support disbursement meant to support the Government of Sierra Leone’s overall reform program towards growth and structural reforms, supported by the World Bank’s Multi-Donor Budget Support (MDBS) arrangement.

Pasco Gerald Temple

Information attaché

Sierra Leone Embassy

1701, 19th Street NW,

Washington D.C

Zip 20009

Skype: pasco.temple

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