The United Nations Development Programme Country Director in Sierra Leone Mr. Bernard Mokam has disclosed that the UNDP spent $40 million on funds they provided for developmental activities in the country during 2008.
He made this statement at a meeting held with stake holders to review the UNDP Country Programme Action Plan for 2008-2010.
The meeting which brought together representatives of UN agencies, Civil Society organizations and government agencies took place on Tuesday 18th February at the Kimbima hotel in Aberdeen, Freetown. The theme of the meeting was “Meeting Delivery Challenges”.
In his welcome address the UNDP Country Director Mr. Bernard Mokam gave a brief background of the Country Programme Action Plan (CPAP) for 2008-2010.He said the CPAP programme is an implementing framework of a three year cooperation between the UNDP and government of Sierra Leone. It is a set of programmes designed to be implemented in the country by the UNDP and its partners. Mr.Mokam added that the CPAP also looks into sustainability of the programme, lessons learnt and emerging challenges during implementation. He also highlighted the objectives of the CPAP programme which target three key areas which include:
1. Rebuilding key state institutions like Parliament, Judiciary and the Executive.
2. Promoting sustainable strategies for poverty reduction.
3. Helping communities to recover and consolidate peace.
The CPAP also covers economic management and support to all sectors of development in the country.
The Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Dr. Richard Konteh spoke on behalf of government. He commended the UNDP for its leadership role in coordinating developmental activities in the country. The minister further stated that the government lacks capacity to properly coordinate developmental activities across the country and as a result more power has been shifted to the UNDP than they require.
He thanked the UNDP for its support to key state institutions like Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Office of National Security (ONS), National Electoral Commission (NEC), the Police and many others. He expressed appreciation for the camaraderie that has existed between the government and the UNDP and further anticipated a stronger relationship in terms of communication and coordination.
The Country Director Mr. Bernard Mokam said parliament has about 27 committees which seems to be too much for MPs of a developing country like Sierra Leone and this has always prevented MPs from focusing on a particular programme. He went on to explain that the major challenges they were faced in the course of implementing their programmes in 2008 was that of communication. He said that there is a dire need to invest in that sector.
By William Freeman.