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Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning calls for national and international cooperation in reducing disaster risk and disaster losses in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Dr. Francis Kai-Kai says in order to address the challenges of prevention, mitigation and response to multifaceted disasters in the country requires the support and cooperation of both national and international partners to boost disaster resilience in the face of extreme weather events and other natural and man-made hazards.

He made this statement, as the keynote speaker, at the commemoration event of the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction held at the Freetown International Conference Centre. The theme of the 2021 edition focuses on ”International cooperation for developing countries to reduce their disaster risk and disaster losses.”

Minister Kai-Kai said they were proud as a nation that HE President Julius Maada Bio had transformed into reality the global vision of establishing a stand-alone Disaster Management Institution charged with the responsibility of managing disasters and other emergencies in Sierra Leone.

“The establishment of the requisite disaster risk governance structure in the country is in response to the clarion call of the international community. That vision has become a reality in Sierra Leone with the establishment of the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) with quality staff deployed to the institution,” said the Minister.

Minister Kai-Kai on behalf of the Government of Sierra Leone commended and appreciated the international partners that have been making significant contributions towards the establishment, as well as building the capacity of the newly created NDMA, while also calling on others who have the aspiration to provide the necessary support for the Agency.

He assured the gathering that the government of President Julius Maada Bio was firmly committed to international cooperation, especially around issues concerning developing countries as they believe a concerted effort was the best way of building a safer and resilient society in the face of multiple hazards.

In his address, Lt. Gen (Rtd) Brima Sesay, Director-General, NDMA, while expressing the significance of the occasion in the protection of lives and properties across the globe, noted that the Day was set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to reflect on the efforts made by the international community towards the reduction of risk associated with disasters.

He said it was a Day to celebrate how people and communities around the world were reducing their exposure to the risk of disasters and raising awareness about the importance of reining in the risks that they face.

The Ministers of Environment, Prof. Foday Jaward; Minister of Youth Affairs, Mohamed Orman Bangura and the Deputy Minister of Gender and Children’s Affairs, Buakai Bindi Hindowa all spoke on issues including: addressing climate change within Disaster Reduction Management, using climate services to support Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR); Words into action, putting youth at the center of disaster prevention and resilience; and Gender matters in government, lessons for DRR in Sierra Leone respectively.

Daniel Bob Jones, Chairman of the Community Disaster Management Committee said as volunteers they were committed to the process of raising awareness on disaster preparedness and prevention in their communities, particularly in the coastal areas that are prone to disaster in Freetown.

The International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction was started in 1989, after a call by the United Nations General Assembly for a day to promote a global culture of risk-awareness and disaster reduction.

Ends

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