Poverty in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is a West African country that was decimated by a civil war that lasted nearly a decade (1991-2002). With a population of over six million and an area roughly the size of Pennsylvania, Sierra Leone is overcrowded and mired in absolute poverty. At one point, it was the poorest country in the world. A post-war democratic government has made efforts to develop the country in cooperation with the U.N. Political corruption and ethnic tensions, however, remain prevalent and have put a damper on poverty reduction.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the success of Sierra Leone depends on two distinct factors. The World Factbook website identifies these factors as follows, stating: “The fate of the economy [of Sierra Leone] depends upon the maintenance of domestic peace and the continued receipt of substantial aid from abroad, which is essential to offset the severe trade imbalance and supplement government revenues.”

Sierra Leone depends on international aid to survive. The United States provides a small amount of assistance to the sapling nation each year in an effort to stabilize Sierra Leone while preventing a drug trade from becoming stronger in West Africa. In the coming years, increased aid to Sierra Leone would expedite development and alleviate poverty in the country.

Learn more about poverty in Sierra Leone.

– Josh Forgét


Source: CIA World Factbook
Photo: The Sierra Leone Telegraph