The Government of Sierra Leone has signed an agreement with the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for the sum of approximately Le450,000,000 (four hundred & fifty million Leones) that ECOWAS will soon send to Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs.
The agreement between the Sierra Leone Government of His Excellency President Koroma represented by Hon. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs and the ECOWAS President Marcel Alain De Souza is for money that is to be applied towards seeking the welfare of Ebola-affected citizens.
Awareness Times reports that this development followed a 3 days of successful technical and political meetings at the ECOWAS Headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria.
Accompanied by Mr. Sahr Paul Fomba, the Director of Planning & Programmes of her ministry, the Honourable Minister also engaged officials of the Spanish Government, NEPAD and ECOWAS on how to bring back on track, a proposed pilot programme for funding of empowerment of rural Sierra Leone women through assistance of rural business entrepreneur efforts.
Meanwhile, that program, now valued at around €270,000 (two hundred & seventy thousand Euros) had been derailed by the 2014 Ebola outbreak and even following the end of the Ebola threat, other issues had affected the full implementation. However, the programme is now back on track with the ministry encouraged to achieve certain milestones for disbursement to commence.
Hon. Dr. Sylvia Blyden had special high commendation for Hon. Dr. Fatimata Dia-Sow, the ECOWAS Commissioner responsible for Social Protection and Gender issues whom NEPAD and Spanish officials praised as being one who lobbied for Ebola-affected Sierra Leone not to be dropped from the Spanish-NEPAD funded financing support despite the time constraints and delays caused by Ebola disease outbreak.
In addition, Hon. Minister Blyden also took time off her ECOWAS Meetings to visit with officials of the Sierra Leone High Commission including Sierra Leone’s top diplomatic envoy in Nigeria, Her Excellency Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba.
It will be recalled that Hon. Dr. Blyden left Sierra Leone on Tuesday 7th June 2016. She returned to Lungi Airport on Saturday afternoon as she spent Friday June 10th night in transit through Accra, Ghana, due to the fact that there were no direct flights between Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
On arrival in Sierra Leone, the next day Sunday June 12th, Hon. Dr. Blyden graced the annual Thanksgiving Service of ZONTA Women in Freetown where she was the Distinguished Grand Chief Guest.
Meanwhile Hon. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden was back at her desk on Monday 13th June 2016 to continue to faithfully and loyally serve His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government & People of Sierra Leone.