An inter-agency mission kicks off Ebola Recovery Assessment in Sierra Leone
Freetown, 15 January 2015-An inter-agency team has begun an Ebola Recovery Assessment (ERA) mission in Sierra Leone as part of international efforts to partner with Governments to address the impacts of the EVD crisis in the affected countries. The principal aim of the mission is to work with Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to identify critical areas of support that will lay the foundation for early- and medium-term economic and social recovery in the post-Ebola period.
On 14 January, members of the team met Dr Kaifala Marah, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, who welcomed the team and underscored the need to include all stake-holders in the ERA process to avoid duplication of assessments and resource mobilization efforts. Dr. Marah also pointed to the need to develop a recovery programme that was specific to the context of the Sierra Leone. Key interventions would be required in the health and education sectors, strengthening of social cohesion support to private sector development, budgetary support and debt relief.
The ERA mission is a result of consultations between the United Nations and the Governments of the Mano River Union following the December visit of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon. The UN Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone, David McLachlan-Karr, said that the ERA exercise should be anchored on national ownership and on supporting the government’s Agenda for Prosperity – Sierra Leone’s roadmap for development. “Readjustment of some aspects of UN and Development Partner programmes will be needed to ensure that efforts to contain Ebola are not interrupted, while at the same time, preparing the ground work for future recovery programming,” McLachlan-Karr said. He added that the UN Country Team was already working on adjusting the results matrix of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), an anchoring development work plan, to ensure that all country programming is relevant to supporting government efforts to eradicate Ebola while setting the country back on the path to development.
The leader of the inter-agency mission, Stan Nkwain, who is UNDP Deputy Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, pointed out the four thematic areas of the ERA: Health and Water and Sanitation, Infrastructure and Basic Services, Socio-economic Recovery and Peacebuilding, all of which are closely aligned with the Government’s Agenda for Prosperity. “As EVD is raging the region, and particularly in Sierra Leone, the ERA should go hand in hand with the EVD response, and especially enhance rather than distract from the response effort,” Nkwain said.
The inter-agency team comprises experts from the United Nations, European Union, World Bank and the African Development Bank. The team finishes its mission the weekend in Accra after its one-day stop in Guinea tomorrow.