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Humanitarian Diplomacy

23 September 2017

On 14 August 2017, the Republic of Sierra Leone was affected by devastating torrential rains that triggered a mudslide 32 kilometres east of Freetown.

The devastation was dreadful with reports of over 500 people killed in the tragedy and thousands left homeless and hard and soft infrastructure devastated. As a consequence thereof, the President of Sierra Leone, Mr Ernest Bai Koroma, made a humanitarian appeal for emergency relief to the thousands affected.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Ms M. Nkoana-Mashabane responded to the appeal on behalf of the Government in line with South Africa’s spirit of solidarity with the rest of the Continent, underpinned by the philosophy of Ubuntu and its advancement of humanitarian diplomacy.

South Africa rose to the challenge and responded promptly and positively to Sierra Leone’s humanitarian appeal for emergency relief in order to save human lives and alleviate suffering.

Minister Nkoane-Mashabane in this regard, made an initial contribution of an amount of R8 million towards food aid and medical supplies through the WFP to Sierra Leone. Furthermore, the Minister initiated the launch of a nation-wide public appeal in order to allow all South Africans to show solidarity and support to the people of Sierra Leone during their most difficult and trying times.

South Africa’s humanitarian gesture which is aimed at restoring human dignity is made within the context of the UN Agenda for Humanity calling on global leaders to stand up for common humanity to ensure that no one is left behind and to reach first those who are furthest.

The Official Handover Ceremony was held on 08 September 2017 in Freetown, Sierra Leone with South Africa’s High Commissioner to Ghana H.E Ms L Xingwana (accredited to Sierra Leona) handing over the Humanitarian Aid to the Government of Sierra Leone.




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