Tunis, 7 September 2005 - The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the African Development Bank (ADB) Group, on Wednesday in Tunis, approved a grant of 17 million Units of Account (UA*), equivalent to US$ 24.81 million, to finance the strengthening of the District Health Services Project in Sierra Leone.
The Project aims to improve the health status of all Sierra Leoneans and enable the country attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the health sector, by improving access to health services for the population in the districts of Bonthe, Bo, Kenema, Port Loko, and Tonkolili.
The support will help the government reduce child mortality (MDG 4); improve maternal health (MDG5); and combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases (MDG 6).
The Project will comprise the following outputs:
- Strengthening of District Health systems;
- Strengthening of Maternal and Child Health Programmes;
- Project Management.
The beneficiaries (approximately 2,109,106 people) constitute almost 43.75% of the total population estimated at about 4.8 million in 2002. Theses are mainly peasant farmers, pastoralists, small traders, unskilled and semi-skilled labourers, the unemployed, war orphans and female-headed households. Most of the beneficiaries in the target districts both at the community and facility level are women. They contribute over 60% of the labour force in subsistence farming at the district level.
The total cost of the project is estimated at UA 18.9 million, equivalent to US$ 27.59 million. The ADF grant will finance 90% of the cost.
The Bank Group’s operations in Sierra Leone started in 1967. To date, the Group has committed a cumulative amount of US$ 353 million in 37 operations in the country.
* 1 UC = 1.45984 US dollars as at 01/09/2005