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.