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We can defeat COVID-19

… New UN Chief tells Bio

October 26, 2020

Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi and President Julius Maada Bio at State House

Recently appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, Dr. Babatunde Ahonsi, has told President Julius Maada Bio that COVID-19 can be defeated, “by being responsible citizens and heeding to the call of our health experts.”

He made the above call Thursday at State House during the presentation of his letters of credence to the President.

Accompanied and introduced to the President by Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister, Madam Nabeela Tunis, Dr. Ahonsi said, “ Sierra Leone needs all of us to overcome the outbreak,” while pledging that the UN System in Sierra Leone remains committed to supporting the government not only with the health response but also with the recovery.

He praised the admirable resilience of Sierra Leoneans that has kept the country going notwithstanding the health challenges and adverse development impacts of dealing with the 2014 Ebola outbreak, and now, with the current pandemic. 

Dr Ahonsi, a Nigerian national, said he was cognizant of the fruitful relations that exist between Sierra Leone and the UN. “ Thus, I am eager to deepen UN partnerships with the Government, and our other partners in development towards accelerating the country’s quest for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals and a middle- income country status,” he said.

While congratulating Dr Ahonsi on his appointment by the UN Secretary-General, the President said his goal is to strengthen good results between the UN and the people of Sierra Leone. He noted that the new UN chief’s appointment came at a very difficult time not only to Sierra Leone but to the rest of the world.”

The President told Dr Ahonsi  invited the UN to continue to support his government with its priority areas, including improving quality education, peace and national cohesion, agriculture and health, among others.

Before his appointment to Sierra Leone, on September 21 this year, Dr. Ahonsi, a Nigerian national worked in China in an interim capacity as Resident Coordinator. He was also UNFPA’s Representative in China and Country Director for Mongolia.

He has more than two decades of experience in international development and was a lecturer at several federal universities in his native, Nigeria. Dr Babatunde Ahonis has a doctorate in philosophy.