EU and Ireland provide 1.5 Million Euros  to help tackle COVID-19 across districts in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 July 2020:

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai yesterday Tuesday, launched the “Team Europe Initiative” aimed at supporting decentralized COVID-19 response in Sierra Leone.

The “Team Europe Initiative” will support and strengthen Sierra Leone’s response in the most vulnerable communities.

Both the European Union and Ireland have mobilized approximately 1.5 million EUR (or 16.5 Billion Leones) to support the response, through two coordinated interventions in partnership with CSO’s across 11 districts in the country and reaching an estimated 400,000 individuals.

The ministry’s Development Secretary, Peter Sam-Kpakra thanked the EU and Ireland together with the partner NGOs for facilitating the launch, and for their continued support for government’s effort in the fight against COVID-19.

The Irish Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Lesley Ní Bhriain said the project ensures Ireland’s overarching priority in contributing to reducing the incidence and mitigating the impact of the pandemic among vulnerable populations.

Ambassador Ní Bhriain encouraged partners to make the ‘Build Back Better’ slogan a reality so that  while responding to an emergency situation, the project can also contribute to the goals and objectives of the Medium Term National Development Plan (2019-2013).

Deputy Head of EU Delegation to Sierra Leone, Jamila El-Assaidi said the Initiative is the localized expression of the EU’s global commitment to help most vulnerable countries in Africa, and across the world. She noted that the partnership with Ireland is proof of the EU’s utmost commitment to jointly move aid effectiveness from policy to practice.

Madam Assaidi congratulated the government for its commitment and efforts in supporting a multi-stakeholder response to the pandemic and for the Minister’s efforts in recognizing the critical role played by all stakeholders, including NGO’s, grassroots organizations and local councils among others.

In his address, the Minister, in welcoming everyone on behalf of President Julius Maada Bio, noted that the ‘Team Europe Initiative’ is aiming to localise and transfer development to the people. Dr. Kai-Kai said the Initiative would contribute enormously to government’s response in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially at District level.

Minister Kai-Kai said the NGOs, who are partners, play a significant role in development and that they cover the last 5-mile everywhere in terms of development.

“We rely on you considerably for delivery on development outcomes and your role is a critical one and this  is one that the President-Bio led government values very much. President Julius Maada Bio is now fully convinced that the NGOs have a key role to play in the development process of our country,” Dr. Kai-Kai said.

He noted the need to target district level structures in the implementation process, which he said is  the formula for success. He urged them to collaborate and coordinate with partners on the ground to create the synergy that would improve the lives of ordinary people.

The EU intervention will be implemented by a coalition of NGOs, CSOs and local authorities. It will  focus on empowering local actors, including the District COVID 19 response teams in Falaba and Karene districts. The second intervention will also support the National COVID-19 strategy and response efforts in both urban and rural communities.

Other dignitaries present at the launch included Country Directors of Trócaire, Concern Worldwide and Goal International. There were also local actors from AAD-SL, SEND, KADDRO present.


  1. Oh Boy. Look at that. Look at Dr Francis Kai Kai playing tough in those pictures. This SLPP party champion by the name of Dr Francis Kai Kai, keeps negotiating and bringing in millions of dollars of aid into our country. Did they see that? When you work with champions, you win. But when you work with those political baseless losers, you become the greatest political loser in history. I have no time to wait and waste in praising, acknowledging and appreciating the efforts of Dr Francis Kai Kai, the Minister of Development and Economic planning, even if I’m on vacation.

    Dr Francis Kai Kai is a champion with a political base in Pujehun City, whether I, you, me, they or we like it or not. If he is chased out of the dictators political den at any moment, then, there is always, we salute you Sir, welcome, constituency available. But, is his effort just “baboo woke en monkey eat”? I hope those Bio SLPP kakistocracy operatives keep away from those funds. God bless Dr Francis Kai Kai and his industrious, zealous and lifesaver team. What a perfect gentleman. Yeah!

  2. With all this monies being made available to the government of Sierra Leone by the European commission and other international financial institutions, like the IMF, World Bank, the ADB, I wonder how much of it will reach its intended targets? In the wake of this COVID19 pandemic, I’m suddenly drawn to two words. TRACK and TRACE. I think the European UNION and the international financial institutions, UK international development, that are providing the liquidity or funding for COVID19 projects across the country, should strategies on how to realise their goals. Its no good giving these funds to corrupt government officials, with no way of accounting for it. All these international bodies know our country is listed as one of the most corrupt states in the world, so why encourage it in the first place by dishing out these monies with no one to hold to account?

    I think its about time the European Union and international financial institutions, set up a TRACK and TRACE shop for these funds in Freetown. Without it I’m afraid to say most of these monies will disappear with out a trace. Unfortunately, despite their good intentions to help the people of Sierra Leone overcome the COVID19 pandemic, and help our sluggish economy, it will all go to waste with nothing to show for it. We’ve been here before. We recall the Ebola money, the money for reconstruction after the war. Million and billions of dollars. At one point, the British government was supporting Sierra Leone more than any other small state of that size. Why we keep doing the same things and expecting different results? Its called madness. May God bless the republic of Sierra Leone.

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