A group of women in Makelfa village, Tonkolil, Sierra Leone.  Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern WorldwideA group of women in Makelfa village, Tonkolil, Sierra Leone.  Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern WorldwideA group of women in Makelfa village, Tonkolil, Sierra Leone.  Photo: Jennifer Nolan / Concern Worldwide

Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Why Sierra Leone? Protracted civil war from 1991 to 2002 caused devastation in Sierra Leone. In 2019, it ranked 181 out of 189 countries in the Human Development Index.

We have been working in Sierra Leone since 1996 and are currently working in Port Loko, Tonkolili District and in the Freetown/Western Area. Our integrated programming approach aims to tackle all dimensions of poverty, focusing on the overlapping areas of health, education and livelihoods while maintaining our response to emergencies.

*We are currently responding to the threat of COVID-19 in Sierra Leone. Find out more about our response here.

Sierra Leone is facing significant challenges

From 2014 to 2016, a severe Ebola outbreak rocked the country, infecting and killing thousands of people. While the economy has begun to rebound, the outlook remains challenging. The country is now facing challenges arising from COVID-19, with schools closed, movement restricted, rising food insecurity, an increase in cases of gender-based violence, and high inflation.

Sierra Leone also has one of the world highest maternal mortality rates in the world at 1,165 per 100,000 live births in 2017. Concern is focusing on strengthening quality, expanding access, and building the demand for reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child & adolescent health (RMNCAH) services within the Saving Lives in Sierra Leone programme. 

There is also a high level of teenage pregnancies in Sierre Leone, with studies showing that almost 45% of girls aged 19 are pregnant or have already given birth (DHS, 2019). We are working to implement the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) project, alongside integrated projects focusing on education, gender equality and SRGBV. 

Our teams also continue to respond to emergencies, including floods and fires, in our operational areas.  

Concern's Sheena McCann at Freetom cemetery in Sierra Leone. Photo: Kieran McConville
"Alongside preventing the spread of Ebola, what we really wanted to do was to make sure that families could say goodbye to their loved ones with dignity and to know exactly where they were buried. Previously many bodies had been buried in unmarked mass plots."
Sheena McCann, Former Assistant Country Director

Latest achievements

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Malaria prevention

A total of 14,118 people directly benefited from our TAP (treat and prevent) Malaria programme, with local partner Community Integrated Development Association (CIDA), which improved health service treatment of malaria and other diseases.

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Emergency response

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Adolescent sexual and reproductive health

A routine service with the Assistant Transport Officer, Samuel Serry
A routine service with the Assistant Transport Officer, Samuel Serry. Mohamed Ameen Bah/ Concern Worldwide
Rokoh Kargbo breastfeeding her baby during a COVID-19 information session.
Rokoh Kargbo breastfeeding her baby during a COVID-19 information session. Photo: Mohamed Saidu Bah/Concern Worldwide
Sierra Leone Education team pictured after a training session.
Sierra Leone Education team pictured after a training session. Photo: Anne Vazzoler/Concern Worldwide
A resident of Bassaia Village looks at a COVID-19 poster.
A resident of Bassaia Village looks at a COVID-19 poster. Photo: Mohamed Saidu Bah/Concern Worldwide
Concern's Learning Coach Mohamed Gobril Sesay raising awareness on COVID-19.
Concern's Learning Coach Mohamed Gobril Sesay raising awareness on COVID-19. Photo: Mohamed Saidu Bah/Concern Worldwide

How we’re helping in Sierra Leone

We are working hard to combat suffering and build resilience in Sierra Leone. Our programmes focus on humanitarian response, livelihoods, health, education and gender equality.

OpenSafe learning model
OpenSaving lives
OpenCOVID-19 response

South Sudanese Refugee Appeal

  • Life-Saving Food Kits needed

  • Over 300,000 South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, 66% are children

  • Acute Malnutrition rate at 10.4% among South Sudanese refugee children under the age of 5.

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