Barely a few days after the commemoration of the 56th anniversary of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Egyptian Government has donated a shipload of rice and cooking oil worth millions of US Dollars to the people and Government of Sierra Leone to ease the current food crises confronting the nation.
The ship, which is due in Freetown within the next five days, contained approximately 90 tons of rice with over 400 cartons of cooking oil – each carton contains a dozen gallons.
In an interview with Awoko over the weekend, the Egyptian Ambassador to Sierra Leone Mahmoud Azzat confirmed that the shipload of Sierra Leone’s staple food, rice, is on the high sea, very close to Sierra Leone, and would be anchored at the Queen Elizabeth II Quay within the next couple of days.
“As soon as the ship arrives, I will immediately hand over consignments to the Government of Sierra Leone through the Minister of Trade Industry and State Enterprises, Alimamy Koroma.When asked whether the consignments were relief supplies for Sierra Leoneans, he responded that it is a grant to the people and Government of Sierra Leone to compliment government’s effort in alleviating hunger in the country. He added that the gesture came as a realization of “the cordial and bilateral relationship between Egypt and Sierra Leone.”
Sierra Leone, he said, is a war-torn country that had over 10 years of turbulent rebel war which dehumanized everyone, therefore deserves such gesture. With regard the specific source of the items, he explained that it came from the Egyptian funds for technical cooperation with Africa. He assured that this is just the start of things as many more supports are lined up by the Egyptian Government for Sierra Leone, pointing out that Sierra Leone’s food security drive would be unattainable with inadequate or non-available food reserve to feed farmers to be energetic enough to embark on large scale farming. Unproductive of farmers in third world Africa is as a result of: Poverty, malnutrition and ill health, which he said restricted them to subsistence farming practices for only consumption.
He concluded that he donated an assortment of pharmaceutical drugs and essential equipments on behalf of the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt valued at 500,000 US Dollars to the Government of Sierra Leone two weeks ago, through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.
It would be recalled that Egypt had been of tremendous support to Sierra Leone from time immemorial, especially in the area of: Agriculture, education, military and health service delivery.
By Solomon Rogers