Freetown, Tuesday 14 September, 2021 – The Director-General of the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA), Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI and some senior management staff have met with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Director, Mr. Joycelyn Fenard at the Organization’s Country Office on New Signal Hill Road, Off Congo Cross in Freetown.
In his statement, the Director General of the NCRA, Mohamed Mubashir MASSAQUOI said that the purpose of meeting with the UNFPA Country Director was to outline NCRA’s programs to the UNFPA team, being that UNFPA is a major stakeholder in maternal, newborn and child health initiatives globally and nationally, and that CRVS is very relevant for measuring universal health coverage and health indicators in the SDG’s especially in relation to research, data and reporting.
Mr. MASSAQUOI mentioned that the NCRA is very much aware of the fact that UNFPA is the leading data agency of the UN system and also a member of the APAI-CRVS committee and therefore requested them to play a critical role in strengthening Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS) systems in Sierra Leone.
The DG informed the UNFPA team that the Government of Sierra Leone is very much committed to supporting CRVS and ID Management system in the country. He therefore called on UNFPA to throw more support in strengthening CRVS system.
“Civil registration and vital statistics (CRVS) systems are not only a source of legal documentation and empowerment for individuals, but also generate crucial evidence for economic, social and health decision-making. Thus, strengthening the CRVS has been accorded high priority by Government,” the DG added.
The DG highlighted the following areas for support by UNFPA: technical assistance, capacity building or development, institutional strengthening, development and enforcement of regulations, MDSR reporting and monitoring field data collection.
The DG disclosed to the UNFPA team that the NCRA has been appointed as Pillar Lead for Assessment and Registration in the National Disaster Management structure to monitor and give credible and reliable data on public health and other emergencies.
To further enhance deeper understanding of the work of NCRA, the DG provided a copy of the NCR Act of 2016, to the UNFPA Country Director and his team. He also gave him a copy of the Comprehensive Country Assessment Report which was conducted in October 2010, and the Five Year Costed Strategic Plan of the NCRA which was borne out of the Comprehensive Country Assessment Report of which UNFPA was part of the process.
In his response, the UNFPA Country Director thanked the NCRA DG and his team, adding that he is very much pleased to receive the NCRA team at this particular point in time. Mr. Joycelyn Fenard quickly took the DG and his team through areas of interest as per the UNFPA Strategic Plan which he said basically guides their actions in terms of intervention.
He noted that the UNFPA has just completed a review of the new Strategic Plan which focuses on three main areas of support: preventing maternal death, early family planning and ending gender-based violence. The Country Director also alluded that to be able to do this, UNFPA supports systems development that can guide the successful implementation of the investments made over time.
Joycelyn Fenard further maintained that CRVS is part of their global program and that it is very much necessary to support it especially when looking at the level of investment made towards the initiative in the Country. He however noted that the current country program of the UNFPA did not directly feature CRVS as in the case of other project interventions implemented by some of their partners. Notwithstanding, the UNFPA Country Director said, the two institutions can still work together through linking programs and innovation to improve on CRVS in the country, adding that some UNFPA programs can be linked to CRVS which will attract maximum impact of the investment made so far. He stated that the likes of Burkina Faso and few other countries have benefited from such programs of support.
In his submission, the Director of Policy and Planning of NCRA, Aiah Lebbie Sosokonneh thanked the UNFPA team for such an important meeting. He appealed that UNFPA should consider the NCRA for support in their rolled-out programs for next year.
Dr. Sahr Yambusu, Vital Statistics Consultant at the NCRA also said through a reliable and credible vital statistics data on the population of Sierra Leone, government and other development partners will be able to make informed decisions and plan well. He called on UNFPA to continue their support to NCRA especially in the area of CRVS.
The Director of Births and Deaths, Brima Kamara said that the NCRA had already secured a births and deaths registration template from Botswana. He therefore called on UNFPA to support its roll out.
©IEC DIRECTORATE, NCRA