On May 4, 2015 in Magburaka– Tonkolili District, North of the country, the Government of Sierra Leone launched the Social Protection Strategy and both the Social Safety Net (SSN) and the Rapid Ebola Safety Net (RESN), to help the most poor and vulnerable Sierra Leoneans out of abject poverty and to cope with the economic impact of Ebola.
The RESN and SSN unconditional cash transfer schemes are benefitting more than 9,000 and 21,000 extremely poor households, respectively, across the poorest districts in Sierra Leone.
This would not have been possible without the input of Dr. Abu Kargbo, whose outstanding contribution to the design and implementation of the social protection strategy has earned him the prestigious Nerves of Steel Award 2015 from the World Bank Group’s Social Protection and Labour Unit in Washington, USA. He is the only WBG African staff to receive the Nerve of Steel Award out of 15 various other awards to staffs of the Bank all over the world.
|Dr. Abu Kargbo bags two awards in six months
In addition, Dr. Kargbo received the World Bank’s Vice President Team Award 2015 for his contribution to the Ebola response program and additional financing.
“This comes as a surprise to me, but I am really happy and proud. It pays to work hard,” said Dr. Kargbo, paying tribute to his wife and children ‘who allowed me to stay for longer hours in the office working, and sometimes even sleeping there’.
“Specific thanks go to the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President of Sierra Leone, Saidu Conton Sesay, who mentored me in the area of social protection. Also the World Bank Sierra Leone Country Manager, Francis Ato-Brown for his support and guidance and my Team Task Leader Suleiman Namara, and to UNICEF for giving me the opportunity to undergo many trainings in social protection,” he continued.
Dr. Kargbo also recognized the support of Nina Rosa, with whom he jointly won the award. Nina is a social protection specialist working with the Bank in Washington.
Dr. Kargbo received the Nerve of Steel Award on 12th June 2015 in Washington.
“This has motivated me to be even more determined to work harder,” he said.
Until November 2014, Dr. Abu Kargbo was the Director of the National Social Protection Secretariat at NaCSA. He joined the World Bank Sierra Leone country office in December 2014 as Operations Officer and Social Protection Specialist. When asked why he left the NaCSA office for the Bank, he said: “I want to build a career.”
Working with the Bank, Dr. Kargbo was responsible for policy dialogue and engagement with the Government of Sierra Leone in the formulation of the SSN, the youth employment support program and the decentralized service delivery project (DSDP II). He has helped strengthened donor dialogue and coordination between the Bank and other donors in the area of social protection, and improved the engagement with the client- the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Government of Sierra Leone social safety net program is jointly financed by the World Bank (with a grant of US$7 million from the International Development Association) and UNICEF (with a grant of US$300,000). The Government’s contribution is US$1 million.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.