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The new UNFPA Representative, Dr Kim Dickson paid a courtesy call on H.E., The President, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma at State House, Freetown, on Tuesday, July 5 where she presented her credentials.

Dr Dickson was grateful for the warm reception accorded her by the Government and people of Sierra Leone, including implementing partners and beneficiaries since her arrival and assumption of duties.

She highlighted UNFPA’s long standing support to the Government and people of Sierra Leone in the promotion of sexual and maternal health and youth empowerment over the years.

The UNFPA Representative commended the President for the adoption and implementation of the Free Health Care Policy for pregnant women, lactating mothers and children under five years, which UNFPA has been supporting due to the direct link to its mandate.

Dr Dickson highlighted the most recent support towards Contact Tracing under the Surveillance Pillar in the Ebola response, though not within the traditional mandate of UNFPA, and the successful conduct of the 2015 Population and Housing Census, which she described as ‘credible and one of the best in recent times in Africa’.   

She concluded by applauding the Preside's Post-ebola Recovery Priorities and pledged to strengthen the long standing partnership between UNFPA and the Government and people of Sierra Leone.

Welcoming the new UNFPA Representative in Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma hailed the Fund’s traditional support to the Government and People of Sierra Leone through line ministries and local partners over the years.

He applauded the significant role of UNFPA towards the promotion of sexual and reproductive health, especially efforts towards the reduction of maternal and infant mortality.

The President commended UNFPA’s support to contact tracing under the survillance pillar during the Ebola outbreak response, which he said was crucial to the defeat of the disease, along its traditional mandate of promoting sexual and reproductive health. In his words,‘Ebola was strange to us and exposed the weakness in our health system’. He added that the country has learnt it's lessons.

President Koroma concluded by assuring Dr Dickson that his Government will do everything possible to make her stay rewarding and productive.

Dr Kim Dickson assumed office on 11 May 2016 and looks forward to an excellent working relationship with the Government and people of Sierra Leone and other local and international partners, in pursuance of UNFPA’s mandate of ‘delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled’.