The head of the Budget Support Review Mission to Sierra Leone and Economic Adviser of the Department for International Development (DFID) Pietro Toigo has described the performance of the Sierra Leone economy in general and progress in the implementation of bench marks as satisfactory.
He said this at the end of a day retreat on Multi-donor Budget Support and Assessment Framework review at the Bank of Sierra Leone Complex, Kingtom, Freetown.
The review which was conducted from June 15-25 aimed at reviewing and getting updates on the bench marks of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Toigo reiterated that unlike the 2007- 2008 fiscal year, most MDAs have met at least two thirds of their benchmarks.
The Economic Adviser stressed the need to revise the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between government and the multi-donor Support Partners, focusing on reducing number of benchmarks in subsequent years.
Earlier on, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr Richard Conteh stated that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has successfully completed the fourth review under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement, which he said showed government’s commitment to maintaining macro economic stability even in this trying moment.
Dr Conteh noted that government has recently launched the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) II (2009-2011), in which government’s priorities within the next three years were outlined.
The Deputy Finance Minister reiterated that government would want to reach an agreement with donors as soon as possible on the bench marks for 2009 and beyond.
He assured the joint budget support partners of government’s determination to advance Sierra Leone’s development strides in the context of the Multi Donor Budget Support (MDBS) reform agenda.
Director of the Economic Policy and Research Unit (EPRU) in the Finance Ministry Alimamy Bangura, lauded the efforts of MDAs and donor partners in making the mission a success.
He called on all donor partners to consider the full disbursement of variable tranches
of budget support for 2009 in view of the impact of the global economic recession on the Sierra Leone Economy.