January 30, 2015
The Chief Executive Officer of OXFAM GB, Mr Mark Goldring met with the President of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at the State House, on the first of a three-day visit to the OXFAM Sierra Leone Country Programme.
The purpose of the visit to the President was in recognition of the great resilience exhibited by the people of Sierra Leone in the face of the Ebola outbreak, amidst all the challenges faced, and to share OXFAM’s interventions in Development and Emergency work. Mr. Goldring also pledged OXFAM’s continued support to the people and government of Sierra Leone in Emergency, Post Ebola and development interventions.
He commended the President’s leadership and efforts in fighting the Ebola especially his involvement in social mobilisation which has had tremendous impact on community practices across the country. He assured the President of OXFAM’s commitment to continue lobbying the international community for more finances to support the three affected countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
President Koroma expressed his gratitude over the help that the international community has extended to the country, acknowledging it as a positive contribution that has led to the strengthening of the country’s capacity mainly for health workers who have received full training on case management. He noted that although the number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone was decreasing, the country has suffered a lot of social and economic devastation, as a result.
Speaking about the reducing numbers of Ebola cases he said: “It is not time for people to get complacent, the fight against Ebola is not over until the economies of affected countries are running. It goes beyond the WHO’s declaration of an Ebola free country.”
The Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Hon. Randall Foday Bayo accompanied OXFAM to the State House as the Ministry is OXFAM’s line Ministry in its WASH programme, with which it enjoys a strong and cordial working relationship. He commended OXFAM as a reliable partner in water and sanitation interventions in Sierra Leone.
The Government of Sierra Leone and other stakeholders are working together on an Ebola recovery plan that will support the country as it transitions into a recovery phase. OXFAM’s Ebola response has focused mainly on water and sanitation facilities (WASH), social mobilisation, and most recently, active case finding. It uses evidence generated from its programme interventions for its advocacy and influencing engagements.