SA Pledges R8 Million For Sierra Leone

South Africa has pledged R8 million to assist Sierra Leone following deadly mudslides, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Wednesday.

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“We are announcing an initial financial contribution of R8 million for humanitarian assistance through the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). This contribution is for the provision of materials for temporary shelters, medical supplies and food aid,” said the Minister.

The WFP, which has the requisite expertise and experience to execute this function, is already on the ground in Sierra Leone.

Last week’s mudslides killed more than 300 people on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown while many others were left destitute.

Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday, Minister Nkoane Mashabane said the R8 million will not be the only contribution that South Africa is making.

Appeal For Donations

“Accordingly, we would like to this take this opportunity to humbly make an appeal to the South African people, in their personal capacities and as members of organisations, to join the efforts to assist the sisterly people of Sierra Leone in this hour of need.”

Family in Sierra Leone. UN Photo/Martine Perret
UN Photo/Martine Perret

The Minister said the public can make R10 donations by SMSing the word Relief to the number 38510. All SMS will be at the cost of R10.

Alternatively South Africans can support the efforts of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent who are already on the ground in Sierra Leone through the South African Red Cross Society.

Meanwhile, Minister Nkoane Mashabane has called on corporate South Africa to assist.

She also thanked the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) who through its foundation has availed its radio, online and television platforms to publicise the donations drive.

“Our gratitude also go to MTN for assisting us at short notice to set up the facility to allow the public to make contributions. We call upon other corporates to get involved.”

Suspension of search and rescue operations

She further said that South Africa’s initial plan was to send a Search, Rescue and Recovery operation team under its Urban Search and Rescue team (USAR-South Africa). The team has a classified recognition status from the United Nation’s International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG).

Source: allafrica.com

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