Since its emergence from a decade of civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone has experienced substantial economic growth. However, poverty and unemployment remain major challenges, and the country’s infrastructure continues to suffer the consequences of years of mismanagement and neglect. Sierra Leone’s Human Development Index value for 2012 positioned the country at 177 out of 187 countries.
How We Are Helping?
UNCDF has been helping Sierra Leone to meet its development challenges by supporting local economic development initiatives and conditions for an inclusive financial sector. The Local Governance and Economic Development Joint Programme (LGED-JP) was designed by UNDP/UNCDF and the Government of Sierra Leone to support the decentralization of governance and the building of the local government system. It responds to the Government of Sierra Leone priority areas: addressing pro-poor growth, and promoting the decentralization policy and devolution of functions to local governments.
In Sierra Leone UNCDF is also implementing its Gender Equitable Development (GELD) programme, which aims at strengthening local government’s capacities in gender planning and budgeting.
In inclusive finance, the UNCDF Microfinance Sector Development Programme (MITAF II) supports the development of a competitive and sustainable inclusive microfinance sector that provides access to financial services for poor and low-income people and small businesses. Interventions here aim to strengthen the microfinance industry itself, and to create an environment that supports the microfinance industry over the long-term. This project is jointly supported by UNCDF, UNDP, Liechtenstein, KFW Bankengruppe and Cordaid.
With a total budget jointly funded by UNCDF, UNDP, KfW, and CORDAID; and in partnership with Financial Sector Development Program of the Government of Sierra Leone, MITAF II aims at its end at providing access to financial services to around 390,000 active clients, up from 123,000 during its first phase. Funding for the programme remains open to other donors interested in the microfinance sector in Sierra Leone.