The Director of the National Authorising Office (NAO) Ambrose James has held discussions with Communications and Visibility experts of EU about possible impact of COVID-19 on ongoing EU funded projects, and devise strategies to engage communities and beneficiaries about the impact of COVID 19 outbreak on project implementation.The Director made this statement on the 25th March 2020, at NAO’s 3rd Communication and Visibility (C&V) Quarterly meeting for EU funded projects under the 11th EDF in Sierra Leone at the NAO conference room in Freetown. Ambrose James informed attendees that based on current health concerns, operations at the EU Delegation in Sierra Leone and its headquarters will slow down activities and possibly impact timelines. He said the NAO is closely monitoring the situation and in line with government directive, NAO Senior Management Team will inform project partners and contractors of possible measures that will be taken to ensure limited disruption in implementation arrangements.He admonished them to abide by health regulations and safety measures of frequently washing hands or using sanitizer, maintain social distancing and avoid crowded places. The meeting also discussed the need for partners to put together plans on how to engage their respective communities and partners on COVID-19 awareness raising campaigns and implementing preventive measures Updates, on C&V activities were presented by Boosting Agriculture for Food Security (BAFS), Key Infrastructure projects, Support to Education Sector in Sierra Leone and Sierra Leone Agriculture Research Institute (SLARI). The NAO, also presented its C&V activities over the period which included release of the 2nd edition of its biannual Newsletter, 2020 calendars, diaries, notebooks and stories of various activities updated on its website www.nao.gov.sl . These activities help to reinforce awareness about the role of NAO and information about projects implemented under the 11th EDF.The Director concluded by emphasising the critical role of Communication and Visibility in all EU funded projects, and the quarterly meetings were a platform for sharing successes, experiences, plans and collaboratively finding solutions to challenges in C&V activities. He noted that the meetings have yielded good results that have informed strategies and ideas that work best for the various projects.
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