MINISTER OF PLANNING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT HOSTS USAID COUNTRY REPRESENTATIVE
Freetown, Sierra Leone, 19th September, 2019, MoPED- As part of his continued engagement with Development Partners, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis M. Kai-Kai hosted the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) Country Representative to Sierra Leone, Miriam Lutz, on Thursday, 19th September, 2019, at the Ministry’s Tower Hill Office in Freetown.
The meeting focused on the USAID support to Sierra Leone and issues relating to deepening collaboration between the two institutions.
In her presentation, Miriam Lutz enlisted the United States Government support to Sierra Leone in the following priority areas;
On Agriculture, Economic Growth, and Food Security, Madam Lutz stated that the Agency work to sustainably strengthen the Country’s capacity in the agriculture sector, including support to provide access to markets via supply chain enhancements, and expanded integrated inland aquaculture.
She explained the Agency’s work on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, noting that their program is centered on public accountability with the goal of increasing public trust in government. She further stated that their aim on this category is to strengthen democracy, human rights, access to justice, and Media freedom by working with Sierra Leoneans to build government accountability, ensure responsive public instructions, strengthen judiciary process, and promote strong democratic norms and processes.
On Global Health, which encapsulates the Agency’s flagship health programs in Sierra Leone, the USAID Country Representative to Sierra Leone underscores their support to the nationwide expansion and scale-up of lifesaving, high impact health interventions in public and private health facilities in the areas of neglected tropical diseases; malaria prevention and control; global health security; maternal child health; and family planning. She maintained that the USAID also provides technical assistance, commodities and equipment to Sierra Leone’s primary health care delivery system and the community health worker program.
She called on the Minister to look in to the concerns raised by Development Partners and NGOs regarding the Development Cooperation Framework. She further called on the Minister to coordinate requests for data from USAID within Government, as different MDAs requests for the same information from them.
She applauded the Minister for his in-depth understanding on development issues and his openness to dialogue.
In his response, the Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis M. Kai-Kai thanked the team for their support to the Government and People of Sierra Leone over the years and reassure Government’s commitment to strengthening the relationship with partners. He noted that the US Government is a very valuable partner to Sierra Leone.
Dr. Kai-Kai recognised their focus and support to Governance, Agriculture, Economic Growth and the Health Sector and called on them to create jobs within these sectors as its key to changing the narratives of Sierra Leone.
He assured the USAID Country Representatives that the Development Corporation Framework is not meant to stifle the work of development partners but rather is a framework for proper cooperation and collaboration, which, he said, will be reviewed alongside the implementation of the Medium-Term National Development Plan. He informed them that he recently held a meeting with the NGO family where he assured them of his Ministry’s support and urged them to ensure that their activities are aligned to the Medium-Term National Development Plan.
He noted USAID valuable collaboration in the development of the Medium-Term National Development Plan. He intimated the team that MoPED will soon commence district discussions in the priority areas of the plan to ensure ownership of the people. He said Development Partners will be joining these district discussions.
Both the Minister and madam Lutz underscored the need for data for evidence base decision making. To this end, Dr. Kai-Kai said he will facilitate the collaboration between Statistics Sierra Leone and USAID and ensure that they be part of Stats Sierra Leone data users. This will enhance the smooth work of the monitoring and evaluation system that is currently been developed by MoPED.
He told the USAID team that the Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC) meetings will be reconfigured to allow for in-depth deliberations on sectors based on the MTNDP clusters. District DEPAC meetings, he said, will also be organized to give partners the opportunity to see how their projects are impacting the lives of beneficiaries in remote communities.
Dr. Francis Kai-Kai concluded by assuring the USAID team of his Ministry’s commitment to deepening the partnership with development partners and NGOs.
©MoPED Communications Team 2019