Sierra Leone

WFP Sierra Leone Country Brief, November 2020

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers
- 1,694 mt of food assistance distributed
- USD 0 cash-based transfers made
- USD 7.6 m six months (December 2020–May 2021) net funding requirement
- 380,405 people assisted in November 2020

Operational Context

Sierra Leone is a low income country marked by food-deficit, with 63 percent of Sierra Leoneans estimated to be food insecure (June 2020 Food Security Monitoring System survey). Food security has drastically deteriorated since January, demonstrating the considerable impact of COVID-19 on households that rely on fragile livelihoods. Poverty levels are high, with 53 percent of the population living below the income poverty line (with less than USD 1.25 per day), and the country is still socially and economically recovering from the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak which ended in 2016.

Since the country registered its first COVID-19 case in March 2020, cumulative confirmed positive cases stand at 2,416 as of the end of November. The pandemic led to the closure of schools and disruption of supply chains. Nutrition and livelihood activities have been affected by measures geared towards breaking the chain of transmission.

About half of the adult population is illiterate (44 percent among women) and the country ranks 150 out of 160 countries assessed on the Gender Inequality Index. WFP has been present in the country since 1968, helping to tackle food insecurity and malnutrition challenges among vulnerable groups. The launch of the Country Strategic Plan (CSP 2020 – 2024), in line with the new United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF 2020-2023), is an opportunity for WFP in Sierra Leone to build upon the lessons learned to achieve Zero Hunger.

Operational Updates

Targeting process is ongoing by WFP in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Welfare, District Councils and Sierra Leone Red Cross Society for the unconditional threemonths emergency assistance in the form of in-kind food and cash transfers to over 51,000 beneficiaries across the most food insecure districts of Kenema, Kambia, Kono, Port Loko Tonkolili, Western Area (rural and urban areas). Distribution has been delayed due to operational challenges related to validation of community-driven targeting.

WFP and the Office of National Security completed in-kind unconditional food assistance distribution to some 202 households (1,010 individuals) affected by windstorm in Mandu chiefdom (Kailahun district).

WFP, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society and Ministry of Social Welfare are preparing to implement a second round of inkind food assistance to vulnerable beneficiaries in borderlying chiefdoms in Kailahun and Pujehun districts. This activity will also include targeting of 501 additional households (2,505 beneficiaries) in Penguia chiefdom.

Training was conducted for over 50 lead farmers from 25 farmer based organisations (FBOs); community youth contractors and agricultural business centre members trained on post-harvest management in Peje chiefdom (Pujehun district) and in Gaura and Niawa chiefdoms (Kenema district).