B.W. Bockarie: Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications
“In all our decisions during this crisis we aim to save lives but we have also worked to sustain livelihood support to the most vulnerable and keep our key economic and human capital development sectors healthy,” says His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio.
I will now lay the issues bare for the consumption of all and sundry.
SAVING LIVES: Almost four months gone by, out of a total of 1,381 cumulative confirmed positive cases as at the time of putting these thoughts together, 897 precious lives have been saved with less than 500 cases left at Isolation centres, comparatively minimal deaths, and more than 130% discharged from quarantine homes. There has been provision of additional beds, ventilators, increased support to quarantine homes, hospitals and health centres nationwide. Kudos to our frontline health workers, development partners, and others who have contributed to the fight in one way or the other. We are also witnessing refurbishment and construction of hospitals and health centres nationwide, recruitment of over 2000 health workers most of whom are only getting pin codes under the New Direction after having volunteered for several years. This is a government with a human face indeed headed by a compassionate President.
SUSTAIN LIVELIHOOD: Emergency cash transfer has been provided to vulnerable informal sector workers including those working in micro and small enterprises and low paid workers in the service sector. Salaries are now paid promptly to public servants including teachers who have been receiving their 30% pay increase promised by the Talk and Do President Bio.
ECONOMY: At no time in the history of Sierra Leone have we seen such a fiscal discipline as demonstrated by this New Direction government. Inflation is steadily being controlled while the exchange rate has stabilized for months now. There is massive financial support to agriculture now in an effort to make the country food self sufficient.
In maintaining its flagship program the latest disbursement of school fees subsidies to Government and Government Assisted schools to the tune of a whooping Le42.8 billion has just been made to schools across the country. Over two million Pre-Primary, Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary School pupils are benefitting from the Free Quality Education. At least ten Tech/Voc institutions are functional in different parts of the country. The thrust of this is to develop the middle level manpower and prepare young people for the job market by giving them quality skills training with the overarching objective of reducing the high youth unemployment in the country.
This New Direction government is poised to fulfill all its pre-election promises and meet the aspirations of the people of this country.