12 April 2022
UN Sierra Leone releases its 2021 development advances report card to Government.
On Monday, 11 April, United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC) Mr Babatunde Ahonsi, presented the UN Annual Results Report for 2021 on behalf of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), to the Government of Sierra Leone, represented by the Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone Mr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, PhD. The ceremony took place at the Country Lodge, Hill Station in Freetown, where development partners—representatives of Government ministries, departments, and agencies, members of the diplomatic corps, implementing partners, civil society, private sector, and the media, acknowledged the results of the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework in 2021. The Report highlighted the country's development advances, with support from the UN system notwithstanding the COVID-19 pandemic and its adverse socio-economic impact. Speaking at the presentation launch, Mr Ahonsi highlighted key achievements of UN support to Sierra Leone in 2021, including the 36 per cent increase in children enrolled in basic and secondary education from 2020 to 2021. This, he added, enabled two million children to receive their regular vaccines. Additionally, the UN supported a new scheme to boost food production in schools, now piloted in 17 schools. Furthermore, according to the RC, over 14,000 children can now access water and sanitation facilities in school, and an additional 100,00 people have access to basic water supply. "The UNCT contributed to improved access to renewable energy, building over 80 mini-grids in rural areas and benefiting nearly 300,000 people. In addition, 123,000 crisis-affected persons benefitted from food and cash transfers, while 2,000 women who survived violence received quality attention and care, and 16,000 girls received access to health and protection services", Mr Ahonsi informed his audience. He paid special tribute to the strong cooperation the UNCT continues to enjoy with the Government of Sierra Leone and its development partners. "The collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED), as co-chair of the cooperation Framework Joint Steering Committee and the Ministerial Development Partnership Committee (DEPAC), has enhanced the UNCT's capability in delivering as one and in ensuring that no one is left behind in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of sustainable development activities", he said. In his statement, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Mr Francis Kai-Kai, PhD expressed special appreciation to the UNCT and the RC for ensuring regular annual publication of development results derived from the support provided to Sierra Leone through the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), linked to Sierra Leone's Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2019-2023. These reports, Minister Kai-Kai, said, have been a major secondary source of data for the preparation of the Government's Annual Progress Reports on the implementation of the National Development Plan and that "both the 2020 and 2021 UN Annual Results Reports were extensively utilised in the Mid-Term Review of the MTNDP covering the period March 2019 to August 2021." Receiving the Report on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone, the Honourable Vice President, Mr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said the Report highlighted the impact of the Government's interventions with the support of the UN. He said the Government's strategic interventions are driven by human capital development. Therefore, he thanked the UN Country Team for its work and support to the country's development roadmap and for coming out with the Report. The UN Annual Results Report is a means of taking stock of the progress made on the UNSDCF, implemented by the 18 UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes in the country. It looked at four outcome areas, namely - Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, and Climate Resilience; Transformational Governance; Access to Basic Services; and Protection and Empowerment of the Most Vulnerable. This process will be repeated next year when the UN reports on progress made this year, 2022.