United States assistance in Sierra Leone is vital to maintaining peace and security and ensuring the development of the countries of the Mano River basin. Since 1961, USAID has helped Sierra Leone gain political stability, achieve food security and strengthen democratic governance through targeted assistance to key sectors such as education and agriculture. In 1974, the U.S. downgraded its development assistance for almost two and half decades, resuming full operations in 1999 to
help bring closure to the country’s civil war. Using a two-pronged approach during the war years (1991-2002), USAID provided humanitarian and emergency assistance, promoted reintegration and reconciliation, and supported the implementation of the Lomé Peace Accord which brought an end to the decade-long civil war.
In 2000, the U.S. Government reignited its programs in Sierra Leone, aiming to reduce the threat of regional destabilization, to raise awareness of the widespread atrocities that were committed during the civil war, and to increase international support for the government and the people of Sierra Leone.
During the Transition Strategy from 2001-2003, USAID focused on the social and economic reintegration of war torn communities including disarmament and reconciliation, and strengthening democratic governance. A limited program transitioned into a broader assistance portfolio with USAID’s mission in Guinea providing overall coordination and oversight for the Sierra Leone program.
Since 2006, USAID has identified opportunities to enhance democratic governance. It has supported legitimate and transparent trade in diamonds through the Kimberly process, and promoted equitable benefits to communities; it has used community engagement and mass media to support the way government, citizens, and civil society work and interact at all levels; it has helped to improve the income of rural households; and it has increased and led participatory management of
In 2014 following the outbreak of the Ebola which continued till November 7, 2015 when WHO declared Sierra Leone Ebola free; the US government through USAID provided emergency support for the Ebola emergency response and now investing in the country’s post Ebola recovery and long term development. USAID is working with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MoHS)to ensure that health facilities are restored and fully functioning to provide a package of essential primary health care services, provide clinical care and programs to reduce stigma for Ebola survivors, renew the demand for maternal and health care services, provide lifesaving drugs to pregnant women , lactating mothers and children under five years old, eliminate endemic diseases, carry out research to identify animal reservoir for Ebola and provide technical support to MoHS.
A new Feed the Future program will ensure nutrition and food security by improving the productivity of farming systems and value chain.
The USAID Office of Food for Peace is providing much needed food assistance to address acute food needs of populations affected by the Ebola epidemic. This assistance, provided through a mix of targeted cash transfers, agricultural input provision, local and regional procurement of food, and in-kind food distribution to households directly affected by Ebola Virus Diseases (EVD) , is boosting food access and household purchasing power, while promoting market recovery.
The Women Empowered for Leadership and Development (WELD) program with funding from USAID is increasing women’s political social and economic rights in Sierra Leone by creating an enabling environment for women’s participation in decision making, building the capacity of sub national entities and strengthening Civil Society to advocate for policies affecting women.
Moving forward, USAID will build upon current gains in Sierra Leone to deepen good governance programs, gender equality and empowerment and to foster economic growth through public-private partnerships on its path towards a peaceful and prosperous future.
Last updated: December 02, 2016