November 29, 2016 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
As the government of Sierra Leone commenced the implementation of the post-Ebola recovery programnme, the ECOWAS Commission has made available a whooping US$70,000 to those affected by the deadly Ebola scourge, especially orphans.
According to the Commissioner for Social Affairs at the Commission, Dr. Fatimata Dia Sow, the challenges faced by children who have one way or the other suffered from the Ebola crisis was a matter which the commission remained concerned about.
She was speaking yesterday during the symbolic handing over of the said funds to the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Patrick Conteh for onward transmission to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.
“I feel humbled today that we could as ECOWAS support our children and others who dearly need help as we perform this handing over ceremony of the sum of seventy thousand dollars,” she said and expressed hope that their good intensions would make some humble impact on the beneficiaries, especially the orphans.
She stated that the donation was a follow-up on a recommendation made by a Technical Assessment Team on the need for urgent provision of relief materials, including food and non-food items after a visit to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2015.
She noted that their support was only coming now owing to the need to finalise the processes in line with ECOWAS procedures, coupled with the serious financial difficulties faced by the commission.
Dr. Sow maintained that the challenge created by Ebola remains one of the nightmares in the commission and that although they continue discussion on how best to assist the victims, they were also discussing with their partners on preparedness to deal with such challenges should they occur again in the region.
“We ask you the citizens and our partners’ bot to relax as we believe that to ensure this experience does not come to us again, we need collective support, information sharing and effective capacity building,” she urged.
She assured of the commission’s commitment to the plight of citizens, while at the same time working assiduously to attain their objectives, especially towards the realization of an ECOWAS of the peoples as anticipated in the vision 2020 strategy.
Minister of State in the Finance ministry, Dr. Patrick Conteh acknowledged the valuable role played by the commission during the Ebola crisis, citing the provision of doctors and technical assistance, among others.
He thanked the leadership of the commission for their timely support and assured that the money would reach the targeted beneficiaries.
Dr. Conteh reiterated the government’s commitment to the ideals and protocols of the ECOWAS Commission and look forward for more interventions from them in the future.
Technical Coordinator in the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Mary Rogers said: “We want to thank the commission for their support. Indeed it is coming at the right time because we are now implementing the post-Ebola recovery programme.”