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Poverty & Hunger

Republic of

Sierra Leone

In the early years of the 21st Century

Description: Description: Description: SierraLeone

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Sierra Leone in the early years of the 21st Century.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of poverty are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring the relationship between distribution of labor and per-capita GDP, for example.  Perhaps your paper could focus on life expectancy or infant mortality.  Other factors of interest might be unemployment, literacy, access to basic services, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include some of the possible outgrowths of poverty such as Human Trafficking, Street Children, or even Prostitution.  There is a lot to the subject of Poverty.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

*** ARCHIVES ***

The World Factbook – Sierra Leone

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency CIA

[accessed 1 December 2020]

World Factbook website has moved to --->

[accessed 9 January 2021]

ECONOMIC OVERVIEW - extremely poor; nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture; substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources but still recovering from a civil war that destroyed most institutions; growth driven by mining - particularly iron ore

GDP - per capita (PPP): $1,600 (2017 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:

agriculture: 61.1%

industry: 5.5%

services: 33.4% (2014 est.)

Unemployment rate: 15% (2017 est.)

Population below poverty line: 70.2% (2004 est.)

Maternal mortality rate: 1,120 deaths/100,000 live births (2017 est.)

Infant mortality rate: total: 63.6 deaths/1,000 live births

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 59.8 years

Drinking water source: improved: total: 69.8% of population

Physicians density: 0.03 physicians/1,000 population (2017)

Sanitation facility access: improved: total: 49.6% of population

Electricity access: electrification - total population: 26% (2019)

The Borgen Project – Sierra Leone

[accessed 5 March 2021]

The Borgen Project works with U.S. leaders to utilize the United States’ platform behind efforts toward improving living conditions for the world’s poor.  It is an innovative, national campaign that is working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy.  It believes that leaders of the most powerful nation on earth should be doing more to address global poverty. From ending segregation to providing women with the right to vote, nearly every wrong ever righted in history was achieved through advocacy. The Borgen Project addresses the big picture, operating at the political level advancing policies and programs that improve living conditions for those living on less than $1 per day.

~ Maternal Mortality In Sierra Leone

~ Decreasing Maternal Mortality Rate In Sierra Leone

~ The Vlogbrothers’ Partners In Health Partnership

~ Women’s Rights In Sierra Leone

~ Homelessness In Sierra Leone

~ 4 Organizations Improving Education In Sierra Leone

~ Battling Poverty In Sierra Leone

Tongo Wata: Addressing Poverty in Sierra Leone

Beti Sharew, Borgen Magazine, Seattle Washington, 30 November 2020

[accessed 30 November 2020]

CHALLENGES IN SIERRA LEONE -- Some of the most pressing challenges the community faces include access to safe water, food insecurity and the education of young girls. Only 2% of Sierra Leone has access to safe water and sanitation and more than half of the population lives below the global poverty line. The literacy rate for women stands at 34% which is 18% lower than the literacy rate for men.

THE WORK OF ONE VILLAGER -- Most families in Tongo are reluctant to allow their daughters to go to school because they are food insecure. Girls are also responsible for collecting water for the family. Especially in areas of water scarcity, young girls walk up to 15 miles to fetch water.

Action Against Hunger - Sierra Leone

[accessed 21 March 2021]

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.

The World Bank in Sierra Leone

[accessed 21 April 2021]

The World Bank works closely with development partners to support Sierra Leone in fighting poverty, promoting economic development and improving living standards.

Looking back a few years …

Advameg, Inc., Encyclopedia of the Nations

[accessed 9 January 2021]

Although Sierra Leone is a potentially rich country with diverse resources, which include diamonds, gold, rutile, bauxite, and a variety of agricultural products, the economy has been severely depressed over the past two decades.

In 2002, Sierra Leone qualified for $950 million in debt relief under the IMF/World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Under the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), and with the aid of bilateral donors, the country is implementing strategies to reduce poverty and introduce stability by decentralizing government functions, supporting good governance and restoring local government, improving education and health programs, building an effective police force, and fighting corruption.

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