Stats SL and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has signed a memorandum of understanding with Stats SL for effective coordination and collaboration for the conduct of a Household Food Security and Agricultural Livelihood Assessment in Sierra Leone. The event which was hosted at the FAO Sierra Leone Country Office at Freetown Road in Freetown on Tuesday 11th August 2020 brought together representatives from FAO, Stats SL, the media and other partners.
In opening the ceremony, the Food Security Specialist for the FAO Robin Yokie, indicated that FAO had been collaborating with Stats SL before now but at this juncture, the two institutions signing an MOU will strengthen the collaboration and operationalize the effectiveness of the collaboration that will rely on data generation, dissemination and popularization. He said that the MOU will take the relationship between the two institutions to another level
In her statement, the FAO country representative in Sierra Leone, Nyabenyi Tito Tipo appreciated the proactiveness of Stats SL for the relationship with The FAO Rome office in tracking the sustainable development Goals (SDG)s, and in trying to provide all the data that is required which she says is putting Sierra Leone on the global stage.
She espoused that Covid-19 has impacted many countries of the world of which Sierra Leone is no exception hence the need for the MOU so that concrete assessment can be made of the Socio-Economic impact of Covid-19 especially on Agriculture. She advanced that FAO has been recently doing a global assessment for which Sierra Leone had been put on the crisis watch. She furthered that apart from doing an assessment of Covid-19 on Agriculture, they want to unbundle it into sub sectors and continue monitoring for which she says they see Stats SL as a key partner in trying to translate the assessment into reality. Globally, she said that FAO has been assigned as a custodian UN Agency for 21 indicators of the SDGs especially SDG 2 which is zero hunger .She said that they are very happy that Stats SL has been very cooperative in providing relevant data which has been used to measure sub regional, regional and global comparability.
She revealed that FAO recently finished its country programmed framework which is aligned with Sierra Leone’s national development plan especially the third objective which deals with enumerating data policy document and research. She concluded by saying that the MOU will support the country’s programme framework which runs from 2020-2023.
Making a presentation, the Statistician General and CEO of Stats SL , Prof Osman Sankoh (Mallam O), said that Stats SL has worked with FAO previously on several national projects and hope that this MOU will just leverage on the existing collaboration that was there between the two institutions which is typified by several projects amongst which are the National Early Warning System and Food security Project; the National Food Security Monitoring Group and the Comparative Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis amongst others.
He continued that this partnership will expand and strengthen collaboration to broadly disseminate FAO knowledge in the area of food security and agricultural livelihood.
Conclusively, He said that this MOU will impact Stats SL in several ways amongst which are enabling both institutions to have joint planning in data collection and analysis; enabling Stats SL to provide technical and advisory support and also empowering other UN agencies to have broader knowledge about the activities of Stats SL.
Other speakers who made meaningful contributions at the ceremony were Principal Statistician in Charge of Agricultural Statistics at Stat SL, Momodu Kamara and the assistant FAO Representative, Sarah Kaikai.