Sierra Leone remains highly vulnerable, with the Ebola crisis having further weakened the country.

Sierra Leone

Chronic malnutrition remain a key challenge as Sierra Leone recovers from civil war in the 1990s. 

COUNTRY OVERVIEW

The people of Sierra Leone 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. Sierra Leone remains highly vulnerable, with the Ebola crisis having further weakened the country.

A lack of access to basic services is also a problem: 28 per cent have no access to clean water, and 80 per cent are without access to latrines. In August 2017, flooding and a mudslide hit the capital, causing at least 500 deaths, with 800 more missing. This epidemic put harvests at risk and sent food prices soaring in the region with the number and severity of malnourished children in Sierra Leone and Liberia rising.

In 2010, the government made a sizeable investment in its public health efforts, instituting a Free Health Care initiative in which pregnant and nursing mothers and children under five years of age receive access to free health care. The programme has made significant progress and now serves as a model for other African nations seeking effective public health investments. Improvements have been made, but the majority of the country’s infrastructure is outdated and supply shortages are common. Inadequate sanitary conditions have contributed to repeated outbreaks of diarrhoeal disease, which remains one of the leading causes of infant mortality.

139,931
People we helped in 2017

WHAT WE ARE DOING

The Ebola crisis, and rampant inflation in 2017, have had an impact on the country’s food security. Chronic malnutrition remains a problem with 31.3 per cent of the population suffering from stunting and 30 per cent of urban residents are overweight. The decline in funding is making it difficult to maintain our operations and the Kambia base has now closed.

  • In nutrition and health, the team raised awareness of good practices in communities and treated under-nutrition in 70 healthcare centres and 30 treatment centres.
  • We also rehabilitated water facilities, provided medical supplies and strengthened the capacity of health workers.
  • Food security projects and health and hygiene promotion activities were successfully implemented.
  • We also continued to combat under-nutrition through advocacy work on health and nutrition policies.

In the wake of the flooding in August 2017, our teams deployed to Freetown to provide emergency water, sanitation and hygiene interventions. They also conducted hygiene promotion, built solar energy water supply systems and latrines, and implemented disaster risk reduction activities.

 

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Photo Copyright: Samuel Hauenstein

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Facts

Number of Staff
169
Operating since
1991
Based in
Freetown, Moyama