(MFAIC Press Office Freetown: Wednesday 25th June, 2020) Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation 2020 on Thursday 25th June, 2020 handed over 2,717 metric tons of rice worth about $1.15M to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education at Kennedy Street, East end of Freetown.
In his statement the outgoing Deputy Director General-Policy, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Sahr E. Johnny said the purpose of the gathering was to formally hand over the Japanese Food Aid to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education.
Addressing the ceremony, the Deputy Director General-Operations, Mr. Duwai Sellu Lungay thanked the Government and People of Japan for such a laudable donation towards one of His Excellency Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s Flagship programmes, the Free Quality Education.
The Deputy Director General-Operations stated that the handing over ceremony was another history making event as it has indicated His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio’s effort in reaching out to the country’s bilateral International partners to see how he can actually mobilize supports towards providing the Free Quality Education; (the school feeding programme).
Speaking on behalf of the Consul and the Ambassador of Japan to Sierra Leone, Mr. Ram Shankerdas in his handing over speech said the Food Aid from Japan is an indication of the strong bilateral relationship between Sierra Leone and Japan.
This bilateral tie, he said was further strengthened by His Excellency Brigadier retired Julius Maada Bio during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on Africa Development (TICAD) in August last year.
He added that, the Food Aid to Sierra Leone is in line with the Japanese Government commitment to the SDG-2 vision “ending hunger, achieving food security and improving nutrition and promoting sustainable agriculture”.
Mr. Shankerdas disclosed that the Government of Japan has approved a Grant Aid of $3.6m for the provision of medical equipment for Sierra Leone as support to complement the efforts of the Government and of Sierra Leone towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Receiving the rice from Mr. Duwai Sellu Lungay, Deputy Director General-Operations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Senior Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Mr. David W.S. Banya, said school feeding is a critical component of the Free Quality Education programme of Dr. Julius Maada Bio.
The donation, he said came in at no better time than now. He assured that with the rice in the possession of the Ministry of Basic Education will be utilized for the intended purposes.
He expressed thanks and appreciation on behalf of the beneficiaries, Minister and Government of Sierra Leone to the Government and people of Japan for the timely gesture.