News report from the Sierra Leone Embassy to the U.S :
On Tuesday 8th December 2015, Sierra Leone and the World Bank signed an agreement for a Supplemental Financing Grant which is in response to recent exceptional developments largely related to the epidemic caused by the Ebola Virus Disease which afflicted Sierra Leone in 2014.
The programme supported by this grant aims to ensure that the Government’s Ebola Response Plan can be executed through adequate budgeting and transparent use of resources, consistent with strengthening longer-term fiscal management and transparency. The twin shocks have adversely impacted economic activity in 2015 more than originally expected, sharply reducing government revenues, increasing essential fiscal expenditures even while overall expenditure has been curtailed resulting in an unanticipated financing gap that, if not filled, will jeopardize the Government reform programme, which otherwise is proceeding on schedule and in accordance with the agreed policy agenda.
Alhajie Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie Conteh, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC and Madam Mamta Murthi, Director for Strategy and Operation for the World Bank about to sign the grant.
These adverse developments have SUPPLEMENTAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY FINANCING (DPF) FOR THE EMERGENCY resulted from both the longer-than-expected persistence of the Ebola Virus Disease that precipitated a revenue collapse, and increased essential expenditures, and been exacerbated by the collapse in global commodity prices, particularly iron ore, which heightened fiscal and macroeconomic risks. The Supplemental Grant which has been signed is to support the objectives of the original programme for which Government remains in compliance with the provisions of the legal agreement with the Bank. The unanticipated financing gap was confirmed recently following an IMF Review Mission under the Extended Credit Facility with Sierra Leone. As a result, and reflecting the urgency of the situation, the IMF has substantially revised the programme agreed with the authorities to account for the changed economic circumstances.
Ambassador Conteh and Madam Murthi shake hands after the signing ceremony
The grant is consistent with the Government’s Post-Ebola Economic Recovery Strategy, its development Strategy articulated in the Agenda for prosperity and the twin goals of the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank which seek to contribute to improved transparency and accountability and enhanced public expenditure management.
The Supplemental DPF has been prepared in close coordination with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other development partners. The proposed grant is a critical component of the Government’s response plan and strategy including for maintaining zero incidence of Ebola and implementation of the recovery programme.
Signing on behalf of the Sierra Leone Government was Alhajie Ambassador Ibrahim Sorie Conteh, Deputy Chief of Mission in the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC, whilst Madam Mamta Murthi, Director for Strategy and Operation signed for the World Bank.
Ambassador Conteh thanked the officials of the Bank for their untiring efforts in the realization of the Grant and gave the assurance on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Sierra Leone that the amount will be utilized for its intended purpose.