Sierra Leone

Photo: Samuel Hauenstein Swan for Action Against Hunger, Sierra Leone
Population
6.5 million
Human Development Index
179 (out of 188 countries ranked)
Our Team
118 employees
Program Start
1991

People Helped in 2018: 215,433

176,189
People Reached by Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Programs 
8,000
People Reached by Food Security and Livelihoods Programs 

In the shadow of a ten-year civil war in which some 50,000 people lost their lives, Sierra Leone’s peace agreement of 2001 opened the door to the gradual disarmament of armed factions, ushering in a period of relative stability with signs of economic growth.

Sierra Leone’s populations face a range of humanitarian challenges, from limited infrastructure for providing safe drinking water or sanitation improvements, to rampant hunger and very high infant mortality rates. In response, the government developed a strategy to prioritize four key areas: improving access to electricity, developing a national transportation network, increasing productivity in agriculture and aquaculture, and taking on the nation’s social and humanitarian challenges.

Sierra Leone remains highly vulnerable, with the Ebola crisis having further weakened the country. This crisis, and rampant inflation, have had an impact on the country’s food security. Chronic malnutrition remains a major problem with 31.3% of children suffering from stunted growth. Reducing maternal mortality, currently one of the highest ratios in the world, is a national priority. Lack of access to basic services is also problematic, with 32.2% of the population having no access to a source of drinking water.

In 2018, we strengthened 32 health centers in the west of the country and improved nutrition among children under five and their mothers. We work to improve food security by growing vegetables and leguminous plants to diversify food and income, and by developing savings and credit groups. We conducted two participatory studies on water and sanitation governance and are working to create public-private partnerships to enhance sustainability. Our teams also provide technical and financial support to ministerial and municipal teams to strengthen the role of the authorities in monitoring public services.

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