Finance Minister, Dr. Kaifala Marah on Wednesday, 19th March 2014 signed the United Nations Development Assistant Framework (UNDAF) on behalf of Government alongside the outgoing Executive Special Representative of the Secretary General, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen.
The brief ceremony which also saw the former ERSG taking formal leave of the Minister, took place in the office of the Minister in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
The UNDAF is a comprehensive development agenda of the United Nations with every sector of the country’s development needs to be implemented over a four-year period. It was implemented in Sierra Leone before the outbreak of war in March 1992. The UNDAF which costs USD 532, 820, 500 (five hundred and thirty million, eight hundred and twenty thousand, five hundred US Dollars) incorporates the interventions of the various UN agencies in mostly conflict-free countries encompassing all sectors of the country’s socio-economic and political needs.
The signing of the UNDAF document buttresses the fact that Sierra Leone has emerged from a humanitarian assisted country to a conflict-free and a peace and developing country endorsed by the world body.
Presenting the document, Jens Anders Toyberg-Frandzen said the document was designed on the basis of the Agenda for Prosperity. He acknowledged the strides made by government in repositioning the country’s economy and expressed hope that the trend continues with additional macro finance management initiatives.
Responding, Minister Marah acknowledged the efforts of the UN in restoring peace to the country and assisting with her economic and political rebirth. He described the UNDAF document as “one policy; one single development” noting that it is good that it has the formula of the Agenda for Prosperity, the government’s development blueprint.
The Minister appreciated the UN document noting that it is a true highlight of partnership and collaboration between the UN and Sierra Leone. He said the fact that its implementation will be done in full collaboration with the Government of Sierra Leone, is indicative of the country’s ownership of the process. He assured the ERSG of government’s determination to succeed through the implementation of the process and also its commitment to fostering stronger collaboration with the UN agencies.
He thanked the UN for what he said was it “wonderful collaboration” with the government and people of Sierra Leone in reaching the country to her present peaceful environment and economic development.
The UNDAF document will be signed by all the United Nations Agencies operating in the country.
By Sayoh Kamara
Friday March 21, 2014