Sierra Leone

Christian Aid in Sierra Leone update Jan 2003

Sierra Leone's ten-year civil war was officially declared over on the 18 January 2002 after the disarmament process had been completed. This was followed by peaceful and successful parliamentary and presidential elections in May, marking a positive turning point for the country. However, President Kabbah stated that 'The war has ended, but a new war has started... a war on poverty'.
According to the United Nations Development Programme, Sierra Leone is the poorest country in the world, and humanitarian needs remain considerable. Large numbers of refugees are returning from neighbouring countries to a lack of food and inadequate facilities. Many are returning from Liberia and Guinea.

Christian Aid supports five partners, all in the western and southern regions. Work includes: micro credit for small businesses, revival of farming activities, community reconciliation and support to civil society groups.

Partners are also beginning to work on HIV/AIDS and five of them are going to visit HIV/AIDS projects in Uganda. Work will focus on mainstreaming HIV/AIDS into existing programmes, caring for people living with HIV/AIDS and working with young people through a HIV/AIDS drop-in centre.

Programme news

Christian Aid partner Network Movement for Justice and Development (NMJD) organised a series of workshops on the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) initiative in Freetown, Bo and Kenema. This culminated in a national workshop on 6 January in Freetown. Conclusions from this workshop will feed into a regional conference on NEPAD in Senegal in February.