The Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi has on Friday 17th December 2021 signed the disbursement of the World Bank Budget Support of $75 million under the First Sustainable and Growth Facility financing programme.
The ceremony which attracted other government ministers and dignitaries was held at the Ministry of Finance conference room.
In his statement, the Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi expressed delight over the approval of this year’s budget support by the board of the Bank.
He also appreciated the World Bank Country team, especially the World Bank Country Manager for overseeing the successful conclusion of the reform measures.
The Minister furthered that Sierra Leone benefited $100 million in 2020 from the World Bank under the Productivity and Transparency Support Credit. This disbursement he said supported reforms in various sectors of the economy, including support towards the creation of a Seed Certification Agency, the National Fertilizer Regulatory Agency, as well as reforms in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Country Planning.
He continued that for this year, the Government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank negotiated an amount of $75 million as budget support under the First Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Facility.
“This is intended to support reforms in various sectors of the economy that led to the development of the following Bills which have been tabled before Parliament for enactment. The Gender and Equality Bill, The Land Commission Bill, The Customary Land Right Bill, The Mines, and Mineral Bill, The Electronic Payment System and The National Switch Bill” He added.
Minister Vandi concluded by reiterating government commitments to continued implementation reforms that aim at improving governance, fiscal sustainability, and transparency in the use of national resources.
The Country Manager Abdu Muwonge express pleasure that the board on Thursday 16th December approval the support focusing on financing programmes in the National development under the pilers of human capital development and growth.
He said that the reforms are in critical areas that will stimulate growth in the areas of lands, mining, and sectors that will improve inclusiveness in education, gender and payment systems, improvement in the quality of transparency and governance in areas of procurement, and improving the efficiency in state-owned enterprises.
Mr. Muwonge continued that this year’s total commitment from the World Bank is $263 million of which this $75M is the highest, stating that this is a huge accomplishment of the Bank’s to the Government of Sierra Leone.
He furthered that besides the $75m, the board of the bank also approved $60m towards improving health outcomes in the provinces, additional COVID-19 financing of $18.1M.
“We are on track as far this financial year is concerned, Hon. Minister, my team is working on three other projects social safety net $40m, Land administration project $40M, and the digital transformation projects $40M” he added.
He called on the government through the Ministry of Finance to monitor the implementation of the reforms and ensure that the outcomes are archived.
Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu commits to ensuring that the grant is utilised to improve the life of the people of Sierra Leone. He also assured other government agencies that the ministry of finance will fund programmes and projects towards achieving the outcomes of the program.