Sierra Leone is among the least developed countries in the world, ranking 180 out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index.
- The maternal mortality ratio is extremely high, at 890 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
- The under-five mortality rate is the worst in the world at 185 deaths per 1,000 live births, of which 119, or over half, occur within the first year of life. The majority of deaths are a result of malaria.
- The average number of years of education of adults is just 2.9 years.
- 53 percent of Sierra Leoneans live on less than $1 a day, while 35 percent of people are undernourished.
- Sierra Leone has been prone to cholera and experienced a severe outbreak in 2012.
Despite the significant challenges following the civil war (1992-2002), Sierra Leone is showing signs of improvement. The government, now entering its second term after a peaceful, free and fair election, has been implementing its Agenda for Change, which prioritizes four strategic areas: enhancing national electricity; developing the national transportation network; enhancing productivity in agriculture and fisheries; and sustaining human development, notably health, education and water.
Learn more about our work in Sierra Leone.
Latest Stories From Sierra Leone
View all stories »»
Traditional birth attendants here share two things: They miscarried because of malaria, and they're trying to stop that from happening to others. »»
Teenage girls are targets of pervasive sexual aggression by peers and older men. A CRS program helps them resist. »»
|Population:||5,485,998 (July 2012 est.)|
|Size:||75,955 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than South Dakota|
|People Served:||5,485,998 (2012 est.)|
Catholic Relief Services has a long and rich history in Sierra Leone. Prior to the civil war, which broke out in 1992, CRS implemented education and health programs largely through support from USAID. During the war CRS provided lifesaving assistance to internally displaced people, and after the war ended in 2002, CRS supported the rebuilding of the country, particularly the agriculture and health sectors.