December 20, 2021
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The World Bank has on Friday, 17 December, 2021, signed and approved $75m grant at the Ministry of Finance in Freetown,to help support government reforms in improving natural resources, enhancing inclusiveness and promoting sustainability of development financing.
The World Bank Country Director, Abdu Muwonge, said on behalf of his colleagues at the World Bank, he was super exited to sign the $75m grant, which was the first of three series of the Development Policy Operations (DPO) that focuses on inclusive and sustainable growth financing aimed at supporting the government’ efforts to build the foundation for a robust, inclusive and sustainable economic recovery from the pandemic.
He said the World Bank would continue to be an active partner in supporting Sierra Leone’s recovery from severe shocks in the aftermath of the Ebola Virus Disease and the current Covid-19 Pandemic.
He assured that they would further support the Government of Sierra Leone to transform the economy, make it resilient to shocks while improving the well-being of the Sierra Leonean people.
The World Bank Country Representative maintained that the reforms supported by the DPO will help address some of the most critical structural impediments to raising potential output and improving resource allocation in key sector of the economy and well-anchored Sierra Leone’s Medium Term Development Plan (MTNDP, 2018 to 2023).
“This year’s total commitment from the World Bank group is $263m and the one we are signing today is the largest trench, therefore, it is a huge accomplishment from the World Bank. My team is working hard to sign another grant of $40m for youth empowerment by March 2022 and two other $40m projects will be sign in May 2022 projects .
According to a World Bank news release dated 16 December 2022, the DPO will address poor governance of the mining and land sectors, limited access to financial services, limited job creation and the quality of education.
The Minister of Finance, on behalf of government, thanked the World Bank for their timely and consistent support. He said the implementation of what government has agreed upon will be crystal clear.
He said it is not just about receiving money, but what ones do with the money, assuring that the ministry of finance will be there to ensure that all reforms measures that have been accepted by government will be fully implemented.
He added that otherwise the implementation will have some unintended consequences which government is not ready for.
“I would want to implore all and sundry to be mindful of what we have sign for, so I would like all of us to be on the same page, not only to call for resources but to also make good and accurate use of those resources,” he stated, adding that “The World Bank is here to support us, the World Bank is a partner indeed and we believe in the relationship and we will forge ahead with the relationship.Once more I want to sincerely thank the World Bank on behalf the government of Sierra Leone”.