Early and exclusive breastfeeding significantly improves babies’ nutrition.
Radio broadcasters convey messages of peace and reconciliation.
USAID helped rebuild primary schools after Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war.
The Ambassadors’ Girls’ Scholarship Program helps vulnerable students stay in school.
About Sierra Leone
With a population of approximately 6 million, Sierra Leone is a low-income country and one of the least developed in the world. The country’s GDP per capita is only $254, leaving 73% of Sierra Leone’s rural population in poverty. Women and girls feel the impact of this poverty disproportionately, with customary laws and widely held cultural and social beliefs acting as significant ongoing barriers to women’s full integration into the decision-making sphere at the household, community and national levels. Until the most severe Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) ever recorded struck in May 2014, the country has made gains in the democratic and development processes since the end of the brutal civil war in 2002. This is evidenced by a peaceful transition from one democratically elected government to another in 2007. During the Ebola outbreak, the Sierra Leone economy contracted at an estimated rate of 2.8%. Before then, the economy had grown at an estimated rate of 11.3%, and an average growth rate in per capita income of about 4%, largely based on export earnings from iron ore. The 2015 growth forecast has been, however, adjusted downward to 2% from an earlier forecast of 7.7%.
Last updated: August 16, 2016