Minister Of Finance Launches Disaster Risk Financing Strategy And Implementation Plan 2024-2029.

The Minister of Finance, Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, on Thursday, 21st March 2024, launched the Disaster Risk Financing Strategy and Implementation Plan 2024 – 2029 at the Atlantic Hotel Lumley Beach Freetown.

The Disaster Risk Financing Strategy aims to improve fiscal risk management related to disasters by bringing together various ongoing and planned efforts from different sectors.

The chairman of the ceremony, Matthew Dingie, stated that the document will seek not only to respond to disasters but also to prepare and give quick responses.

Most times, he said, when a disaster happens, it’s difficult to know how many lives were lost, how many properties were lost, and the financial loss during the incident.

“The weather these days is unpredictable, by having rains in the middle of the dry season, which clearly shows the impact of climate change, and we need to respond and manage disasters”, he added.

The Minister of Finance, Sheku Fantamadi Bangura, thanked the group working teams and international partners for putting the document together to help solve disaster problems in the Country.

He noted that the country has continuously faced disasters ranging from Ebola, Mudslides, Covid-19 which cost the country dearly in both human and financial loss. He also stated that disasters cause severe strain on the budget, disrupt the economy, and hinder development efforts, noting that this strategy will provide solid financial safeguards to help tackle the effects when they happen.

The Director General of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Lt Gen (Rtd) Brima Sesay, said the strategy will help the government protect and secure its current development strategies in implementing its Big Five Game Changers for building an inclusive and prosperous Sierra Leone.

He continued that climate change ramifications might lead to disasters that can pose severe challenges for the government’s national development plan 2024-2030 initiatives and its Feed Salone Programme.

The Deputy Commissioner for the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), Balito Songa, thanked local and international partners for developing the document and other interventions on climate change and other disasters in the Country.

He further said that the Commission has been handling level three disasters in the country, which are considered more frequent and likely to shock the lives of citizens.

“In all of these responses, there is no clear financial strategy to address disasters by the disasters implementing agencies, but with this today, the work of implementing agencies would be reflective”, he Stressed.

In a PowerPoint presentation, the Director of the Fiscal Risk Division, Dr Alhassan Koroma, highlighted the different areas the strategy is targeting, the process of putting it together and the following steps to rollout implementation.

Dr Mansaray, in his presentation, also stated that the strategy provides a framework for coordination among key stakeholders to implement activities that will enhance the financial resilience of the Government of Sierra Leone and households and businesses in the face of disaster.

He acknowledges the role of working group members, the World Bank, other development partners, and other government agencies like NaCSA, SLICO, NDMA, MOHs, EPA, MOE, and all Disasters Management Agency.

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