JANUARY 2010 Welcome to the newsletter of the Department for International Development ON UK DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE Growth, Stability, Opportunity – it’s time! - the government department leading the UK's fight against global This was the theme of the landmark conference, hosted by the Government of Sierra poverty. Leone in London on 18-19 November 2009 to raise the international profile of its country. The event included a Consultative Group meeting to build a broader base of This newsletter is designed donor support and a Trade and Investment Forum to boost private sector involvement to keep those in the UK with in the country’s development. Supported by DFID, the event boasted HRH Prince an interest in Sierra Leone Charles and the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair amongst its high-profile guests. informed of the work we are doing to reduce poverty. This edition gives an overview of Between myth the poverty challenge and what the UK is doing to help. and reality Sierra Leone’s reputation is still blighted by years of conflict, which left behind a legacy of human suffering. Sierra Leone has been stable since the civil war ended in 2002 and work has been underway to rebuild the country’s economy and infrastructure. In 2008, the World Bank President Ernest Bai Koroma speaking at the London conference judged Sierra Leone to be the easiest place to start a business in West Africa. Historic move to universal health care. The peaceful elections of provide free 2007 and 2008 were a watershed for the country. healthcare DFID is supporting the move with funding which will All pregnant and lactating also help provide more However, the country still women and children under drugs and better medical has a lot to do to lift itself five in Sierra Leone will equipment. from one of the lowest have access to free, rankings on the UN’s lifesaving healthcare within The number of trained Human Development Index. a year, thanks to a new health workers will also programme announced by increase and new training Sierra Leone has the worst President Koroma at the facilities will be established, maternal and child mortality London Conference in including a second figures in the world. Women November 2009. midwifery school and a have a 1 in 8 chance of second medical school. dying during childbirth or The programme is part of from complications during the Government of Sierra The free healthcare policy pregnancy. 1 in 12 children Leone’s new six-year will be accompanied by a will die of preventable strategy to make healthcare public awareness campaign diseases before their first free for all vulnerable encouraging people to birthday. groups by 2015. exercise their right to demand free healthcare. DFID is working with The historic move came in international donors and the the wake of a landmark During 2010, DFID will Government of Sierra agreement at a UN General contribute over £10 million Leone to improve basic Assembly event in to help deliver healthcare services, make the September 2009, at which services in Sierra Leone. Government more effective, six developing countries and strengthen the role of pledge to scrap health ‘user civil society. fees’ to achieve the goal of For more information about DFID Sierra Leone, write to us at: DFID Public Enquiry Point Eaglesham Road East Kilbride G75 8EA Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Or visit: • http://www.dfid.gov.uk/Where- we-work/Africa-West-- UK Minister of State for Central/Sierra-Leone/ International Development, Gareth Thomas and HRH Prince Charles at the London conference African Youth Day celebrations in Freetown Sierra Leone’s ‘mortal enemy’ A better future for Corruption was recently described by the Economist Sierra Leone’s youth magazine as the country’s ‘mortal enemy’. It was DFID has been supporting youth development programmes announced at the London in Sierra Leone since 2005. One such programme – the conference that Sierra Youth Reproductive Health Programme (YRHP), Leone has improved its implemented in ten districts of Sierra Leone by Students ranking in the Corruption Partnership Worldwide - aims to tackle youth exclusion and Perception Index, published address the issue of HIV and AIDS. by Transparency International. The programme trains local volunteers aged 18-28 to be professional peer educators and places them for 8 This is a result of efforts in consecutive months in vulnerable rural communities. The recent years to fight network reaches 30,000 young people in schools and corruption. Changes in 15,000 young people out of school on a weekly basis. legislation have given the Results achieved by the project in targeted communities Sierra Leone Anti- include: Corruption Commission, (the body charged with • A 37% fall in the teenage pregnancy rate investigating all counts of • A rise in knowledge of sexual and reproductive corruption in Sierra Leone), health issues to 75% new powers to prosecute • Over 700 young people have been inspired to corrupt officials and seize organise events in their communities to raise awareness of youth development issues their assets. • Young people now sit on decision making bodies to spearhead youth development in 63 communities. It is also now mandatory for Interested in finding out all public officials, including The programme’s results were celebrated on 1st November more about International ministers, to declare their 2009 as part of the national African Youth Day. The theme Development? Why not assets before assuming for this year’s celebrations was “Productive Youth for subscribe to 'Developments' power. Stability and Economic development” and the event magazine. Developments is brought together young people, policy makers and the a free quarterly magazine DFID is committed to Minister for Education, Youth and Sports. produced by the Department supporting Government and for International Development Civil Society to combat to increase awareness of “I can sense a change in the behaviour and lives of many corruption. development issues. young people in the Makali Township where I live, thanks to Student Partnership Worldwide's intervention," says DFID has been supporting Contact us at: Rugiatu Koroma, a local counsellor participating in the the Sierra Leone Anti developments.org.uk/subscribe event. “We are all aware of how many young people in Corruption Commission Sierra Leone have benefited from their programmes.” (ACC) since 2000. A new £2 million package of The Youth Reproductive Health Programme has proven support was agreed in July that, given the right training and support, young people are 2009 for 2009-2011 to help able to take a leading role in the development of their the ACC implement its communities. National Anti Corruption Strategy.