The Government of Sierra Leone, in collaboration with the Saudi Development Fund, has reached an agreement to finance the construction of a state-of-the-art hospital in Lungi, valued at $50 million.

On Thursday, May 18, 2023, Bockarie Kalokoh, the Acting Minister of Finance, and Abdulrahman Alharbi from the Saudi Development Fund officially initiated the loan agreement between the two parties.

During his brief speech, Acting Minister of Finance Bockarie Kalokoh expressed gratitude to the Saudi Development Fund for their trust in President Bio’s government, especially during the approaching elections.

He emphasized the significance of this project in aligning with the government’s Human Capital Development Programme, which aims to enhance access to high-quality healthcare services.

Dr. Ibrahim Jalloh, the Sierra Leone Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, highlighted that this venture symbolizes the efforts made by the embassy to strengthen the 40-year diplomatic relationship between the two countries within the framework of development cooperation.

Abdulrahman Alharbi, the mission lead of the Saudi Fund, extended appreciation to the Sierra Leone government for their cooperation and warm hospitality throughout their stay.

He also emphasized that the loan terms are concessional, underscoring Saudi Arabia’s commitment to its bilateral relationship with Sierra Leone.

Financial Secretary Sahr Lahai Jusu provided details on the loan, specifying that it amounts to $50 million and carries a 20-year maturity period with a five-year grace period.

The interest rate is set at 1%, and it includes a grant component of 36.1%, surpassing the requirements set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The project itself will involve the construction and equipping of a modern hospital with a capacity of 150 beds. It will offer a comprehensive range of healthcare services, including general surgery, operation rooms, emergency wards, pediatrics, inpatient wards, obstetrics and gynecology, nursery facilities, as well as technical and administrative units.

The hospital is projected to be completed by the end of 2025.

In addition to the hospital project, the meeting also touched upon the progress of the $25 million Education Sector Support project, as well as the $5 million rural development project that encompasses the installation of 100 solar-powered boreholes.