Sierra Leone | Development and Peace

Sierra Leone


Our Program

Since 1976, Development and Peace’s program in Sierra Leone has been helping to strengthen the country's democracy as well as its social and economic development with an emphasis on citizen participation in the democratic life of the country. Our focus has been on promoting transparency and respect for human rights in the exploitation of both agricultural and mineral resources, and in particular ensuring that women can participate actively in the democratic life of the country in order to improve their living conditions.

The objective of the program is to ensure that the profits generated contribute effectively to just and sustainable development within the nation’s poorest and most marginalized communities, in particular young people, people with disabilities, and women.

Sierra Leone

Sahr Komba, participating in the Handicap Empowerment for Livelihoods Promotion project, at work in the city of Koidu, located in the eastern part of the country.

Development and Peace has developed a strategy that prioritizes strengthening civil society organizations such as citizen coalitions and associations of young people, women, and people with disabilities.

Development and Peace also supports associations that aim to promote women's participation in decision-making in their daily lives, along with their participation in public life. Empowerment, associative involvement, and the improvement of women's economic conditions are the key elements of our approach. Whether in mining regions, where they are particularly affected by the activities of extractive industries, or in more agricultural regions, women's participation in democratic life and the improvement of their economic conditions are the two reference points of our interventions.


The issues we work on to build justice:

Natural resources icon

Natural Resources

Democracy and citizen participation icon

and citizen participation

Equality between women and men icon

Equality between
women and men



The situation

Sierra Leone is slowly rebuilding after a terrible civil war that tore it apart between 1991 and 2000, causing the death of an estimated 50,000 to 200,000 people, maiming thousands, and displacing over 2.5 million children, women and men, i.e. one third of the entire population. More than 5,000 children, both boys and girls, were recruited as child soldiers.

The country's economy came to a standstill and more than half of the population now lives in extreme poverty. Despite significant natural resources (diamonds, titanium, bauxite, iron, etc.) and an agricultural sector with great potential, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world.

The country is also recovering from the Ebola epidemic that struck the country in 2015 and also spread to other countries in West Africa. In one year, the epidemic affected nearly 30,000 people and took over 10,000 lives.

In 2018, Sierra Leone held legislative and presidential elections. Despite tensions, the elections were conducted in a calm atmosphere and a new president from a new party was elected. In preparation for these elections, Development and Peace supported its partners in organizing civil society to develop specific requests for the government and then to follow up with elected officials to ensure that they respected their commitments. In addition, through our partners, we supported women's participation in these elections, in terms of both voting and running for office.

February 1, 2019

On Monday, January 21, violence broke out in Malen, in the Pujehun district of southern Sierra Leone, an area affected by a large-scale land investment initiative the local population has been disputing for several years.

The negative benefits of mining for women in Sierra Leone
January 9, 2019

Sierra Leone is a resource-rich country with significant deposits of iron ore, diamonds, bauxite, rutile and gold. The mineral resources are contributing about 24% to the country's GDP...

April 7, 2015

The first time I heard about Sierra Leone, I was 14 or 15. I read an article about child soldiers who were fighting in the civil war. From the pictures I saw - children with guns, drugged and dismembered - it certainly did not appear “civil.” My heart broke. I couldn’t stay silent about this injustice so I wrote a paper for a high school project.

March 5, 2015

In response to the Ebola outbreak that is still ongoing in West Africa, Development and Peace is contributing an additional $100,000 to Caritas Sierra Leone’s humanitarian interventions.

January 14, 2015

Sierra Leone currently has the highest incidence of Ebola, with over 7,786 infections and 2,696 confirmed deaths (as of January 14, 2015). Beyond the immediate health crisis, there have also been concerns raised pertaining to the long term socio-economic impacts of the disease.

A training with Caritas community health volunteers in Sierra Leone
November 17, 2014

The Ebola epidemic currently raging in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia is the largest, longest and most complex ever known. Its scope and exponential growth go beyond the highly lethal nature of the virus itself and are explained by the negative effects of poverty and inequality.

September 24, 2014

The Ebola virus, which has been officially declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization, is undermining weak healthcare systems in the three countries currently facing outbreaks, namely Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

September 19, 2014

The worst Ebola epidemic in history poses a real health challenge in three of the poorest countries in the world. In Liberia and in Sierra Leone, both of which recently emerged from civil wars, the epidemic also represents another serious obstacle to development because of its psychological, social and economic consequences.

August 26, 2014

Since viruses do not recognize borders, the Ebola virus disease has become a threat for several neighbouring West African countries. Adding to the difficulty of finding a transnational solution is the pressure of controlling a disease that has social, psychological and economic implications.

May 20, 2014

More than a decade after a horrifying civil war ravaged Sierra Leone from 1991 to 2002, leading to the death of 120,000 people and the mutilation of thousands of civilians, this small country in Western Africa of 6.3 million people, is courageously rebuilding itself.

June 20, 2012

I first visited Blama in November, 1989.  It was my first trip as a program officer for Development and Peace.  After visiting the Pastoral and Social Center, where Development and Peace was funding an impressive leadersh


Sierra Leone - 2014