As we have reported in previous newsletters, as part of the Madonna Program, Mission of Hope provides a 12.5 kg bag of rice to a new mother when she is discharged from the Rotifunk Hospital after giving birth and another 12.5 kg bag of rice at her 6 week check up. In addition, Madonna patients are provided 2 meals per day while in the Hospital and rice is always on the menu. Thus, the Hospital is in the business of buying rice, the staple of all meals in Sierra Leone.
Unfortunately, the reality is that the cost of rice has risen by more than 20% over the past 2-1/2 years – from 300,000 leones ($31) per 50 kg bag in August 2020, to 600,000 leones ($38) per 50 kg bag for most of 2022. With 345 deliveries in 2022, the increased cost has meant a substantial additional monthly expense for Mission of Hope.