Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 August 2021:
World Bank Country Director for Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia, Mr Pierre Frank Laporte, held discussions with President Dr Julius Maada Bio on Wednesday, and pledged the Bank’s support for the establishment of the country’s proposed National Health Insurance Scheme.
In July last year, President Bio launched a new Group Life Insurance Scheme for frontline health workers who are engaged in the fight against the deadly COVID-19, noting that the window of opportunity opened by his government reflected a commitment to building a highly skilled human resource base in Sierra Leone.
The government is now hoping that the proposed highly-costly national health insurance scheme can be supported by the World Bank so it can come to fruition.
Mr. Laporte spoke about the good working relationship between the bank and the Ministry of Finance. He added that the country has taken rapid steps in curtailing the Coronavirus, which he said has ravaged many economies of the world.
He further stated that he is happy the country has embraced the Covid-19 vaccination and said the World Bank would provide more support to the country’s efforts at curtailing the Coronavirus, improving the educational sector and investing more in energy.
“We are very happy for the development, so far. We will do everything to get things done,” he noted.
President Bio thanked Mr. Laporte and his team for the discussions, and the quality friendship that exists between his government and the World Bank, saying that the budgetary and technical support from the Bank have helped his government greatly in navigating some of the difficult areas of governance.
“Your contributions have been immense. We, therefore, consider you as a close partner. My government is committed to keeping the relationship together and stronger. We look forward to more support from the Bank,” he noted.
The President also noted that despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, his government has done a lot to support the vulnerable, adding that he would continue to do so in the fight against COVID-19.