The Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in collaboration with UNFPA and the Sierra Leone Parliamentary Action Group on Population and Development (SLPAGPD) yesterday consulted with MPs on the revised National Population Policy.
Speaking during the consultation at Committee room No1 at Parliament Building, the chairman of SLPAGPD, Hon Elizabeth Alpha Lavalie said that the revision of the population policy was long overdue and described the roles and objectives of the revised version as having to address health issues, education, gender equity, special needs, amputees, war widows and street children.
She emphasized that sound and comprehensive policies were necessary to make positive contribution and that the contributions of MPs in their diverse ways would help in the development of the country.
Hon Elizabeth Lavalie urged her colleagues to critically look at the document and to formulate a national material that will look at health issues, challenge inequalities and address social and economic constraints.
The UNFPA country representative, Bernabas Yisa reminded the MPs that their personal inputs would go a long way in addressing the welfare of the people. He said once the revision was done, programmes will be drawn up for the welfare of the people. He also reminded the MPs that real policy meant progress and it is critical for the development of the country.
Bernabas Yissa commented that the revised policy should be seen as an instrument for national advocacy wherein everybody should be catered for and where all issues should be addressed.
The Speaker of Parliament, Hon Justice Nathaniel Abel Stronge described MPs as important stakeholders and that the formation of the SLPAGPD was timely in mobilizing the nation in achieving development issues.
A technical presentation of the revised national population policy was done by a consultant- the former deputy minister of Finance and Economic Development, Ibrahim Sesay.