The Minister of Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) who also doubles as the National Authorising Officer of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Dr. Francis Kai Kai has officially launched the “Team Europe Initiative” today, 28th July at the National Authorising Office Conference Hall, Tower Hill, Freetown.
Witnessing the launch were Ms Jamila El-Assaidi Deputy Head of European Union Delegation in Sierra Leone, Ms Mary O’Neil Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Ireland, Ambrose James Director at the National Authorising Office, Trocaire, Concer Worldwide, GOAL, AAD-SL, SEND Sierra Leone and KADRO
Team Europe is a consortium of civil society organizations from Europe that has come together to help fight the spread and impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Sierra Leone together with local NGOs.
Since the outbreak of the virus in the country in March this year, the country experienced a rapid spread of the virus which have multiple impacts on socioeconomic sectors including livelihoods and food security.
To help support the government of Sierra Leone mitigate the compounding impact of the virus on most vulnerable communities in the country, the European Union and Ireland have joined resources and mobilized 16.5 billion Leones to support decentralized COVID-19 response in the country.
This response will be delivered in partnership with CSOs in 11 districts in the country: Bombali, Bonthe, Falaba, Kambia, Karene, Kenema, Koinadugu, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and Western Area Urban, targeting an estimated number of 400,000 individuals. This will also involve operational support to the districts; distribution of locally-produced hygiene materials; awareness raising and information-sharing on support services, support to people in quarantine homes/facilities as well as the most vulnerable post-quarantine households.
The intervention will also support the national COVID-19 strategy and response efforts in both urban and rural communities and will be implemented in partnership with the local NGOs with focus on both immediate and longer-term impacts of COVID-19.
Assistance will be provided to quarantine facilities, Community Care Centres, and other district level structures to help them provide effective services. The project will also look at supporting vulnerable communities to address other longer-term impacts of COVID-19 and emergency situations such as seasonal flash flooding.
With a flexible adaptive approach, consortium members plan to implement food security and livelihood protection interventions, work to counter the rising levels of gender-based violence, among other measures to mitigate the negative impact of the COVID-19 crisis on food, health, and income security of vulnerable populations.
Bringing together the Government of Sierra Leone, the European Union, the Irish Embassy, Irish and Sierra Leonean NGOs and district authorities, the Team Europe initiative have demonstrated commitment to support Sierra Leone in the fight against the pandemic and its consequences on the most vulnerable communities throughout the country