In a bid to expand its donor support to Sierra Leone following the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in the West Africa Sub region, the Africa Development Bank (ADB) Thursday 28th. May 2015 met with senior officials of the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) at the commission’s Headquarters in Freetown. Briefing the NaCSA Commissioner about the objective of the ADB mission, Madam Binta BA, Chief Health Analyst of the Bank said, their mission to Sierra Leone is to access post Ebola recovery intervention areas and propose collaborative measures with institutions such as NaCSA in designing support programmes and funding mechanisms for social investment especially relating to livelihoods, income support to vulnerable communities, entrepreneurship development for women, capacity building and youth employment opportunities in the immediate as well as beyond post Ebola.
Commissioner of NaCSA, Alie Badara Mansaray welcomes the move by the ADB and expressed optimism for a renewed ADB/NaCSA relationship in achieving Government’s Agenda for Prosperity. Mr. Mansaray stated that NaCSA is a development arm of the government that ensures speedy, effective and efficient service delivery to the neediest communities across the country. He noted that NaCSA has a good track record and a huge comparative advantage of having the capacity and readiness to implement new programmes, nationwide development coverage, Government and donor confidence in championing multi dimensional programmes that creates the most impact on the lives of the people. He also mentioned NaCSA’s strategic role in championing the infusion of a Social Protection pillar into the National development agenda of the country.
Alie Badara mentioned that NaCSA is currently implementing the World Bank supported Social Safety Net Cash Transfers to more than 20,000 extremely poor households, while providing reparations benefit to war victims, providing relevant infrastructure to remote communities through the IDB funded Sierra Leone Community Demand Driven (SLCDD) and the German funded Pro-poor Growth for Peace Consolidation (GPC) projects among others.
He says as part of an inclusive growth strategy that takes into account the development of people and their communities, NaCSA provides entrepreneurship for hundreds of vulnerable women through the Self Help Affinity Groups (SAGs), Micro Enterprise Groups (MEGs), internship scheme for university graduates as well as income support for youths in the form of labour intensive public works (Cash for Work) programmes. In building the human capita the NaCSA commissioner encouraged the ADB team to help add value to these existing programmes and possibly formulate new ones.
Thursday’s meeting was one of many engagements expected to occur between the two institutions in mapping the way forward for a sustained stakeholder relation. Meanwhile, since 2000 ADB has previously provided funding to NaCSA towards reconstruction of community infrastructure after the end of the decade long civil war plus the Social Action for Poverty Alleviation (SAPA) and the Social Action Support Project (SASP). As an MRU country, Sierra Leone is now expected to benefit from what the ADB describes as “a Social Development Fund” which will be implemented by credible development institutions like NaCSA on behalf of the Government.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.