“The World Bank Board in Washington DC United States of America has approved a grant of Seven Million United States Dollars ($7m) for the implementation of the Social Safety Nets Program. A program which targets twelve thousand (12000) extremely poor households with an estimated population of seventy two thousand (72,000) (6persons/house) direct beneficiaries” .Said Dr. Kaifala Marah Sierra Leone’s Hon. Minister of Finance and Economic Development.
Speaking immediately after the signing ceremony between Dr. Kaifala Marah representing the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma and Dr. Yusufa Crookes, World Banks Africa Region Director representing the World body, which took place at the 10th floor Room 073 of J Building, Washington DC, Dr. Marah said “the project will be piloted in four districts including Bombali in the North, Kono in the East, Moyamba in South and Western Rural, which have the highest proportion of extreme poverty in each of the Country’s regions.”
According to him, “the objective is to establish key building blocks for a basic national safety net system, and subsequently provide income support to extremely poor households in Sierra Leone.”
The Hon Minister said the program contains three components which include development of systems for implementation of the Social safety nets, cash transfers to extremely poor households, and program management and capacity building.
“Sierra Leone has experienced strong growth over the last decade, yet sixty six Percent (66%) of the population remain poor, and thirteen point nine (13.9%) an estimated One Hundred and Forty Three Thousand households are extremely poor. Said Dr. Marah.
He assured Mr. Crookes that the money will be judiciously used as spelt out in the project and further said went on to guarantee him that the required results will be achieved.
Responding, Mr. Crookes thanked Dr. Marah for making it possible for the ceremony to take place, and said the World Bank is very pleased to do business with the Government of Sierra Leone.
He applauded the country’s economic discipline and described the economic strategy and financial discipline as good and working, hence the continuous economic growth of the economy of the West African Nation.
In his remarks, Deputy Ambassador I.S Conteh thanked Mr. Crookes and Dr. Marrah for representing the Country and the World Bank.
The ceremony was witnessed by some members of the delegation including Deputy Minister of Youth Ms. Feremusu Kawusu – Konte, Mr. A.B. Bangura General Manager Sierra Leone Ports Authority, Mr. Alimamy Bangura Director of Policy unit Ministry of Finance, Mr. Matthew Dingie Director of Budget Ministry of Finance, Mr. Augustus Cole Director of Public Financial Management Reform Unit, Ministry of Finance, Mr. Lansana Fofana Senior Economic Analyst, Mr. Sheku Bangura Senior Advisor Office of the Executive Director Africa group 1 and other members of the delegation and Embassy officials.