During her official visit to ECOWAS, Dr. Blyden signed an agreement with the President of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel Alain De Souza, for the sum of approximately Le450,000,000 (four hundred & fifty million leones) that ECOWAS is going to send to the office of the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender & Children’s Affairs to be applied towards seeking the welfare of Ebola-affected citizens.
Accompanied by Mr. Sahr Paul Fomba, Director of Planning & Programmes of her ministry, the minister also engaged officials of the Spanish Government, NEPAD and ECOWAS on how to bring back on track, a proposed pilot programme for funding of empowerment of rural Sierra Leone women through assistance of rural business entrepreneur efforts.
That program, now valued at around €270,000 (two hundred & seventy thousand Euros) had been derailed by the 2014 Ebola outbreak and even following the end of the Ebola threat, other issues had affected the full implementation. The programme is now back on track with the ministry encouraged to achieve certain milestones for disbursement to commence.
Dr. Blyden had special high commendation for Hon. Dr. Fatimata Dia-Sow, the ECOWAS Commissioner responsible for Social Protection and Gender issues whom NEPAD and Spanish officials praised as being one who lobbied for Ebola-affected Sierra Leone not to be dropped from the Spanish-NEPAD funded financing support despite the time constraints and delays caused by Ebola disease outbreak.
Minister Blyden also took time off her ECOWAS Meetings to visit with officials of the Sierra Leone High Commission including Sierra Leone’s top diplomatic envoy in Nigeria, Her Excellency Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba.
Dr. Blyden left Sierra Leone on Tuesday 7th June 2016 and was back in the country on Saturday 11th June. Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden is expected back on her desk this morning of Monday 13th June to continue to faithfully and loyally serve her boss His Excellency President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the Government and People of Sierra Leone.