Sierra Leone emerged from a long and brutal civil war in 2002. More than a decade on, the country has made progress towards reconciliation, but poor infrastructure, weak governance, widespread poverty (particularly in the Eastern and Northern regions), youth unemployment and systemic corruption still undermine sustainable development and long term reconstruction efforts.
As one of the poorest countries in the world, Sierra Leone’s economy is heavily dependent on foreign aid and external sources of revenue. It is estimated that around half of government revenue comes from donors, while the agricultural sector contributes over 40 percent of the country’s GDP. Strong reforms aimed at reducing corruption, providing free healthcare and improving transport, power and public health infrastructures top the list of the Government’s priorities, together with the daunting challenge of enhancing transparency in managing the country’s vast natural resources. Reforms are particularly urgent in the public health sector after the recent Ebola epidemic (Sources: UNICEF 2016; UNDP 2016).
- total population (thousands)
- GNI per capita
- Life expectancy at birth
- 51 years
- Human Development Index
- 181 (out of 188)
- Under-5 mortality rate
- Primary school net enrolment
- Adult HIV prevalence (% of the population)
- People of all ages living with HIV (thousands)
- improved access to safe water (% of the population)
- moderate-severe underweight (% children under-5)