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Sierra Leone
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In 2015 Budget:

Le97bn for Health Sector

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 By Jariatu Bangura and Samuel J. Kargbo

In a bid to address challenges in the health sector, Le97 billion has been earmarked for the health sector, Le52 billion of which will go to support for on-going efforts to improve quality and access to basic and tertiary health services, while Le45 billion will be allocated to contingency fund to support Ebola-related activities

While reading the government budget and statement of economic and financial policies for the financial year 2015 on Friday, 14 November, at Parliament, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Kaifala Marah, said the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit has been allocated Le35.1 billion for the procurement and distribution of drugs.

He disclosed that the much anticipated budget will dedicate Le20.3 billion to Local Councils for primary healthcare services, adding that another Le54.8 billion will be allocated to domestic development budget to facilitate the establishment of Public Health Sierra Leone, including Le4.0 billion for the rolling out of a Medical Insurance Scheme for health workers.

He noted that as the theme of the 2015 budget is ‘restoring livelihood for post Ebola economy and social recovery’ it will provide a medical Insurance Scheme for health workers, a Public Health Sierra Leone programme to capture various projects and mainstream sanitation and hygiene across the country; establish a national ambulance service; a pool of paramedics and trained clinicians.

He stated that his ministry will work out the final details of the proposed Public Health Sierra Leone programme to capture various projects, due to the fact that risks faced by medical personnel require incentives to encourage them to continue to provide medical care and support to Ebola victims.

“To this end, Government has provided Le 30 billion, while the African Development Bank and the World Bank have also provided US$ 5.2 million and US$17 million respectively as hazard pay to Health workers engaged in the fight against Ebola,” he said.

He explained that development partners, including the Kuwaiti Fund, BADEA, IDB, World Bank, Global Fund and GAVI will also disburse Le100.4 billion to support various projects in the health sector.

 “As the International Community and friends of Sierra Leone continue to support Government effort in the fight against Ebola, we are mindful of the fact that despite the need for expediency we need to put mechanism in place to ensure that due processes are followed. To this end we are engaging the services of Price Waterhouse and Cooper to provide fiduciary oversight in the utilization of funds. In addition, to promote accountability and ensure that the various resources provided by organizations are properly coordinated, we have agreed on a joint reporting format with our development partners. Post Ebola, Government and development partners will issue a single report on the utilization of resources received to fight Ebola. This is meant to meet public accountability and the New Deal criteria of Aid Effectiveness,” he promised.

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