United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone congratulates the people of Sierra Leone on the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 27 April 2022:

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone – Mr. Babatunde Ahonsi, today congratulated the people of Sierra Leone on the country’s attainment of 61 years of independence from Britain, which took place on 27 April 1961. Here is what he said in his statement:

On the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the independence of Sierra Leone celebrated on 27 April 1961, as Resident Coordinator and on behalf of the United Nations Country Team, I wish to extend our most sincere congratulations to the Government and the People of the Republic of Sierra Leon.

Over the past six decades, the United Nations and Sierra Leone have maintained a strong partnership and a strategic relationship bound together by the desire to maintain international peace and security, to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need, to promote shared prosperity, protect human rights and uphold international law, combat pandemics and threats to public health and combat climate change.

Sierra Leone partners with the United Nations in the realization of its Medium Term National Development Plan (2019-2023) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (2020-2023), seeking to realize a better future and more sustainable for all humanity, as mandated by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. (Photo: United Nations Resident Coordinator in Sierra Leone – Babatunde Ahonsi).

As an example of the strong collaboration between the United Nations and Sierra Leone, the United Nations country team and other stakeholders are helping to boost school food production, through a program now piloted in 17 schools, even in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, more than 14,000 children can now access water and sanitation facilities in schools, and an additional 100,000 Sierra Leoneans have access to basic water and supplies.

In addition, the support of the United Nations country team in 2021 has contributed to a significant increase in the number of children enrolled in primary and secondary education from 2020 to 2021, with specialized teaching materials provided to 23,300 children. pre-primary and routine vaccines to 2 million children. The UN has also helped improve access to renewable energy, building more than 80 mini-grids in rural areas, benefiting nearly 300,000 people.

Even with these advances, as the country celebrates Independence Day 2022, efforts must be made to address longstanding weaknesses in the fundamentals of the national economy, to provide better access to economic opportunities and empowering all Sierra Leoneans regardless of region, gender, generation or disability status.

Finally, as Sierra Leone is now effectively in the 2023 election cycle, it is my hope, and that of the entire UN Country Team, that the country will maintain the path of inclusive politics that builds bridges. It is only with this approach that the country will continue on a trajectory of sustainable development of peace, inclusive economic growth and social transformation.

Allow me to renew the commitment of the United Nations to work with you and to remain focused on our common priorities of peace, good governance, gender equality, environmental sustainability and to ensure that no one be left behind in access to basic services and economic opportunities.

Again, I wish you all a Happy Independence Day and God bless Sierra Leone.