The Director of the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank, Dirk Reinermann, on Monday, 5th December 2022, paid a courtesy visit to the Hon. Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh and the Hon. Minister of Finance Dennis K. Vandi.
In both meetings, Dirk Reinermann stated that his visit underscores World Bank support for Sierra Leone through IDA20 and Sustainable Development Financing Policy and thanked the government of Sierra Leone for the collaboration and partnership throughout the years with Bank.
“As the world grapples with overlapping crises, the World Bank is committed to standing by Sierra Leone as it charts a course to recovery and resilience. Our partnership has taken on a renewed importance amid these new and unprecedented challenges” he added.
Dirk Reinermann continued that the World Bank is stepping up to meet growing needs in client countries like Sierra Leone. Stating that exactly one year ago, the Bank concluded a historic replenishment of its fund for low-income countries through its 20th cycle known as IDA20.
He noted that the International Development Association (IDA) has stepped up its support to 74 countries with a $93 billion package to help them respond to the multiple ongoing crises and build a greener, more resilient, and more inclusive future.
This package according to Director Reinermann, will support IDA countries during the next three years providing financing to help the most vulnerable countries restore their trajectory towards the 2030 development goals and ultimately reducing extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
He informed the government that debt sustainability, particularly in IDA countries, deteriorated during the pandemic and worsened due to the current conflict in Ukraine –with rising inflation, soaring energy and food prices and more. Noting that the new Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP) will incentivise countries to borrow sustainably and promote coordination among IDA and other creditors to support countries’ efforts to drive sustainable financing.
This policy also helps countries undertake policy performance actions on debt transparency, fiscal sustainability and debt management.
“It is in the context that we are here to strengthen partnerships among Sierra Leone’s creditors; and to facilitate information sharing, a greater understanding of the country’s developmental goals, and the need to address debt-related risks “he stated
In his statement, Minister of Finance Dennis k Vandi welcomed the team to Sierra Leone and thanked the Bank for hosting the second creditor outreach event in Africa, in Sierra Leone.
“I congratulate the World Bank for moving this agenda forward and complying with the wishes of the shareholders to implement the new Sustainable Development Financing Policy (SDFP), which focuses on improving debt transparency and reducing debt vulnerabilities and risks” he stated.
Minster Vandi reiterates the government’s commitment to drive through fiscal consolidation, and deepen domestic revenue mobilization to ease pressure on public debt build-up. He further stated that even though public debt challenges and vulnerabilities triggered by the multiple crises are affecting particularly less diversified and less resilient economies like ours, he commits to a transparent and accountable public debt management approach.
The Hon Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh thank the World Bank and IDA for financing government Human Capital development programmes and projects in Education, Health, Cash transfer and Agriculture.
He appreciated the efforts of the Bank for the landmark mobilization of a substantial amount of resources for the IDA 20 cycle.
However, he stated that Sierra Leone’s share of the IDA resources is small compared to our development needs.
“As you know, our development needs have increased in the light of recent exposure to multiple crises. We are faced with the challenges of protecting livelihoods due to food prices shock and expanding jobs and earning opportunities, improving access to energy and water, and at the same time reducing debt vulnerabilities and restoring macroeconomic stability” he added.
Vice President Juldeh reaffirms the government’s commitment to implementing the reforms under the World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) to leverage increased concessional resources from the World Bank and other sources.
He also expressed appreciation, on behalf of the Government and people of Sierra Leone for the support provided by the Bank towards the socio-economic development of Sierra Leone.
“We remain committed to implementing good economic policies including prudent debt management as well as governance reforms he added.