The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has signed a joint MOU with statistics Sierra Leone (Stats SL). This alliance will help strengthen their partnership for reliable data generation in trying to track the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in Sierra Leone.
Globally FAO has been assigned as a custodian UN agency for 21 indicators of the SDGs, especially SDG #2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable agriculture). Statistic Sierra Leone has been providing data to FAO’s headquarters for regional, sub-regional and global compatibility; thus, forming the platform to see how the indicators are being monitored across the countries.
As COVID-19 pose more challenge to the global monitoring of data and statistics, the MOU will aid in assessing the impact of COVID-19 on the socio-economic activity in Sierra Leone, especially agriculture. FAO is planning to launch assessment on the impact of COVID-19 on land tenure, agribusinesses and youth; Statistic Sierra Leone is key to implementing the assessment and monitoring process in the country.
FAO Representative in Sierra Leone, Dr. Nyabenyi Tito Tipo, said Sierra Leone has been put on the global crisis watch list because of the level of food insecurity in the country. She affirmed that FAO is doing assessment on Africa’s food security, thus, doing assessment on the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on the Fisheries sector and aquaculture is crucial.
The Statistician General and CEO of Statistic Sierra Leone, Prof. Osman Sankoh, praised the gesture and reviled that Statistic Sierra Leone has received a grant of $30 million from the World Bank to update the country statistics. He mentioned that they are planning to conduct agricultural Census in the country, and FAO’s support remain crucial for success of the whole process.
The Food Security Specialist, Robin Yokie, said this partnership would ensure that FAO provides technical and advisory support to Statistic Sierra Leone in conducting the agricultural Census. The mandates of FAO is institutional capacity building, FAO has the technical capacity to support the successful capturing of the well-needed data in agriculture; the collaboration is crucial for generating, disseminating and popularizing crucial data that will inform the development of food security.
The Principal Statistician and head of Agricultural statistic, Momodu Kamara, said his institution benefited from FAO capacity building programs in the area of food security, and that Statistic Sierra Leone was part of the National Early Warning System, a project that was implemented by FAO. They are also part of the Food Security Monitoring Group; therefore, the signing of the MOU will further strengthen collaboration between them.
The Forestry Expert FAO, Gbessay Ehlogima Sam Momoh,said the MOU would continue to strengthen FAO’s partnership with Stat S; he highlights the collaboration between FAO and Statistic Sierra Leone in conducting assessment on foreign product and cultural products in the market in 2018. Gbessay