Sierra Leone: President Koroma Hosts UK Minister, CEO Save the Children

President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday 11 May 2016 received the Chief Executive Officer of Save the Children International, Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and also later received the United Kingdom Under Secretary of State for International Development, at the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Nicholas Richard Hurd at State House in Freetown.

The call on the president by the CEO of Save the Children International was to continue to help government and other development partners in the implementation of the 10-24 months post-Ebola Recovery Programme.

President Koroma in response thanked Madam Thorning-Schmidt and the management of Save the Children International especially for its role in the fight against Ebola. He said the visit of Madam Thorning-Schmidt will give confidence to other world leaders to come to the country.

The president informed her about the effects of Ebola on the country, which he said government and development partners are jointly addressing, noting that the 6-9 months post-Ebola recovery programme was completed with high priority on health, education and the private sector, and now implementing the 10-24 months recovery programme. He said government is working towards reviving the private sector, and rebuild a robust health system.

President Koroma called for the intervention and collaboration of Save the Children in the social protection pillar in the implementation of the 10-24 month recovery plan which has to do with the reintegration of Ebola orphans into society, and create the environment for them to resume school and normal life.

Madam Thorning-Schmidt informed President Koroma of her sound working relations with Sierra Leone and the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children's Affairs. The rest of the meeting continued behind closed doors.

In a similar engagement, President Koroma also received the United Kingdom Under Secretary of State for International Development and discussed the British Government's role and commitment in addressing post-Ebola recovery challenges.

In further discussion with Mr Richard Hurd, President Koroma thanked British Government for supporting Sierra Leone, especially in the recent fight against the Ebola outbreak. He said government has been engaging with DFID at every level, adding that government and development partners made significant progress in the implementation of the 6-9 month recovery plan.

The president urged Non-governmental Organizations to minimize bureaucracies in the implementation of programmes, and reiterated that the 10-24 months programme will continue to address the issues of water and energy; stating that the Guma dam was constructed for only five hundred thousand people which can no longer meet the demand of the growing population.

He spoke of the current need for pipe borne water - a problem that requires medium and long term solutions. He further added that energy is also a big issue which is why people are very excited about the launching of the energy revolution. President Koroma said the installation of power in all 149 chiefdoms will boost economic activities in the interior of the country. He disclosed that government is working on phase II of the Bumbuna hydro project with Joule Africa, adding that support from the UK has positioned Government on the right path. Earlier, Richard Hurd registered the UK Government's solidarity and continuous support to the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

Source: Government of Sierra Leone

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