US provides additional $1 million for urgent COVID-19 assistance to Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 August 2021:

The United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has announced it will provide $1 million in urgent COVID-19 assistance to Sierra Leone.

The government of Sierra Leone is facing serious financial shortfall, as donor countries cut their aid budget to Sierra Leone, amid falling taxation receipts and declining export revenue.

NACOVERC – the national agency responsible for managing the pandemic prevention programme, as well as several  programmes delivered by ministries and departments (MDAs) are facing huge budget cuts as the economy continues to slow down.

According to the statement released yesterday by the US government, “equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines is essential to ending the pandemic. To stop the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, people must be vaccinated. This assistance will support the Government of Sierra Leone in implementing its National Vaccine Deployment Plan and ensuring that all vaccines made available to the country through the COVAX mechanism are administered safely, effectively, and efficiently, with zero wastage.”

Announcing this new funding U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, noted that: “The impact from this assistance will be felt across the country, as communities in all 16 districts will be engaged to educate people on the importance of getting vaccinated and work to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us are protected.”

According to the statement: “This assistance from the historic American Rescue Plan builds on more than $7.2 million in direct COVID-19 assistance to Sierra Leone from the United States since the pandemic first began, mainly in the form of food security and livelihood support, emergency response activities, preventive hygiene promotion, and vaccine support.

“In addition, to end the spread of COVID-19 and prevent dangerous variants, the United States, through USAID, is contributing $4 billion to support COVAX — a global effort to provide safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries. These efforts build on decades of life-saving work and U.S. leadership in tackling global health crises. Over the past 60 years, USAID has saved millions of lives from diseases such as Ebola, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and now COVID-19.

“Diseases know no borders. The U.S. is committed to partnering with Sierra Leone to end the COVID-19 pandemic, mitigate its devastating social and economic impacts, and build back a world that is even better prepared for future outbreaks,” the statement reads.

3 Comments

  1. Judging the performance of the Bio government, since taking the oath of office in 2018, from the economic, health, education, housing, investing in infrastructure projects, and promoting political and social cohesion, and above all else fulfilling his promises he made in his manifesto, hammered home by his one direction mantra, on a scale from one to ten, one can be hard pressed to point out anything that suggests he’d done what he said he will do. So a score of 4 out of 10 is not wildly off the mark. Maybe our American friends and partners would be less generous and give his government 3 points. This latest intervention by our American partners on how to promote the covid19 vaccine roll out in all parts of the country, shows their patience with the Bio government is running thin. Ambassador David Reimer, knows all too well when a government is not dilivering for its people. This is not his first posting to a man made improvised African country.

    There is nothing wrong with Africa and the people that call this continent home. The problem is the political leadership. The Americans and other international financial institutions are willing partners in trying to help countries improve the standard of living of others. After 9/11 the US government realised the only ways to address the issues of mass immigration, violence and terrorism visiting their shores is to address the problem from it sources. But make no mistake is not an open ended commitment. As the Afghans recently realised.Just like the do nothing Bio government, the Kabul government was corrupt to the bone marrow. They received billions of dollars of aid money, with the promise they will invest in security and improve the standard of living of their people. After twenty years of corruption, and just like Sierra-leone under Bio, and lying to their people and their American partners, the Biden Administration told them we had enough of this circus.

    Now that American support is no more forthcoming, we saw what’s happening now on our TV screens. So Biden Administration was not heartless, when they pull the rug under the corrupt Alf Ghani’s government. So we are in a similar situation with our international aid partners.We have received a lot of aid money to tackle covid19 but still the problem persist. We might not see Sierra Leoneans scrambling to flee our country through Lungi International Airport , and hanging on US AIR FORCE Military planes because their government lied to them, but the bottom line what we see in those faces of desprate Afghan Mothers throwing their children over the Airport perimeter fench to American Marines, we can understand. Those images are the net effects of corruption, and a government that have failed its people. So will this Bio government learn any lesson from those ugly scenes from Afghanistan and start to diliver for the people of Sierra Leone? I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Announcing this new funding U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, noted that: “The impact from this assistance will be felt across the country, as communities in all 16 districts will be engaged to educate people on the importance of getting vaccinated and work to ensure that the most vulnerable amongst us are protected.”

    So what has president Bio, his minister of health and NACOVERC been doing – if not promoting the uptake of the vaccine? Have they been waiting for foreign donor aid to fall on their laps (as usual) before they could get to work? This is shameless! Aid, aid, aid – thats all they sit and wait for. Useless president – useless government! Where is the change they promised the people of Sierra Leone? What a corrupt bunch of idlers.

    I do hope they get kicked out in 2023 so we can have a government of national unity that brings the best brains from within and outside the country to govern our people. Enough is enough.

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