The Ministry of Finance has on Thursday 13th February, 2020 signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mano River Union on the implementation of the post Ebola recovery social investment fund project worth USD 12.4 million.
In the signing ceremony, the Country Program Officer of Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Madam Felicitan Atanga said the signing of the MOU is one of the conditions of the first disbursement and the other outstanding condition is the approval of the Chairman of the Steering Committee.
She said the project will alleviate the suffering and improve the livelihood of the Ebola Survivors, noting that they are happy that the project is back on the table.
She emphasized that, MRU is coordinating the three countries i.e. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as far as this project is concern and that they believe the affected Ebola population will benefit through this project.
According to the Minister of Finance Jacob Jusu Saffa, sometimes last year when the Ministry was reviewing the different projects in the Country, they found out that this project was almost dead since 2016 without attention.
The Minister said after the review process, he engaged AfDB on the project, noting that this is a manifestation of government commitment to alleviate the suffering of Ebola survivors in the country.
“There are guided rules that have to be followed in using the money. If they are not followed, the Bank will withdraw their money. So many projects have been stalled as a result of bureaucracies in procurement and recruitment,” he said.
According to the minister, these are some of the issues that are responsible for the delay in implementing projects. He therefore urged all parties concern in the implementation of the project to treat the project as a Government of Sierra Leone Project rather than as an AfDB
He said the Ministries of Health in respective countries will conduct psycho-social counseling, infection prevention, health promotion activities, community outreach and capacity building of training institutions.
He continued that, the training of the social workers will be under the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Welfare and Gender.
The project beneficiaries include the populations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone along the borders of the three countries, targeting: (i) community members including youths, women, men, children, people with disabilities and the elderly, (ii) health workers, (iii) community volunteers and social protection officers.
Specifically, the project intends to provide benefits to 5,000 Ebola survivors, 2000 orphans, 75 community groups, 300 cross-border traders, 450 social workers and 6,000 micro and small enterprises across the three affected countries