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Sierra Leone


Amongst the poorest of FCDO’s priority countries, Sierra Leone has made remarkable progress on peace and stability after a painful history of conflict and disease, taking significant strides to tackle its many human and development challenges. Sierra Leone has a stable political environment with successful transfers of power in recent years, and the government has made commitments to improve human capital development and diversify the economy. There remain huge challenges to securing sustainable development in Sierra Leone, which is vulnerable to climate risks, has a small, weak economy, and a rapidly-growing population posing threats to stability. Life expectancy is amongst the lowest in the world; maternal mortality the highest. There is stark gender inequality, and a substantial rural-urban divide. Government institutions, systems and capacities are developing but still weak.

The UK is the largest bilateral development partner in the country. FCDO programming is framed around investing in the drivers and enablers of a stable demographic transition, helping Sierra Leone both to manage the challenges of providing for a growing population and preparing to harness its potential. The portfolio is built around three key areas:

• Enhancing human capital through increasingly equitable access to quality health and education.

• Further strengthening governance: institutions, revenue, public financial management, accountability.

• Stimulating investment for economic diversification, resilient growth and job creation.

This approach will help manage the risk of population growth eroding human development outcomes, contributing to instability, and pushing transition further away. By combining work to deliver services, build systems and shape and deliver policy reform in priority areas, it should also accelerate Sierra Leone’s development trajectory to deliver progress in human development outcomes and consolidate stability, underpinned by stronger institutions and a more resilient economy that allows Sierra Leone to begin the process of reducing its dependence on aid.

Note: Many country summaries were written prior to the creation of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and are being incrementally refreshed.
Disclaimer: Country borders do not necessarily reflect the UK Government's official position.

Top projects in Sierra Leone

People with access to financial services as a result of DFID support.


2015 - 2020 Source Information
Children supported to gain a decent education.


2015 - 2020 Source Information
Women and girls using modern methods of family planning through DFID support.


2015 - 2020 Source Information
People reached with humanitarian assistance (food aid, cash and voucher transfers) through DFID support.


2015 - 2020 Source Information
Children under 5, women (of childbearing age) and adolescent girls reached by DFID through nutrition-related interventions.


2015 - 2020 Source Information
People with sustainable access to clean water and/or sanitation through DFID support.


2015 - 2020 Source Information

Sectors and budgets in Sierra Leone

Help with Sector and Budget Figures
Please note that although budgets are generally split by year, some departments publish budgets that span multiple years. These are represented in the first year of their allocation. Cross-government allocations such as Prosperity Fund and Conflict, Stability and Security Fund are known to duplicate budgets published by other departments, as well as using multi-year budgets.


Sectors groups as a percentage of country budgets according to the Development Assistance Committee's classifications.


Programme budget total by year approved at the Programme level to date.

Current finacial year - 2024/2025 £18.5M

Download IATI Activity Data for Sierra Leone

Implementing Partners

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Partner(s) Active Programmes