FREETOWN, June 17, 2014 - World Bank Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop arrives in Sierra Leone for an official visit from June 18 – 20, 2014. He will participate in the Consultative Group meetings on Sierra Leone and hold high level talks on a wide range of development issues with President Ernest Bai Koroma, senior government officials, development partners, as well as dialogue with civil society and media.
In July 2013, Sierra Leone adopted the Third Poverty Reduction Strategy (The Agenda for Prosperity) which rests on eight pillars. The initial estimates for implementing all projects and programs within the Agenda for Prosperity is $5.7 billion but committed resources from Government of Sierra Leone, Development Partners and Private Sector are estimated at $3.7 billion, creating a funding gap of $2.0 billion.
This Consultative Group meeting is, therefore, to firm up existing donor commitments and mobilize additional resources (including private sector funding and public-private partnerships) to close the funding gap.
Since 2003, the government has made substantial progress in reducing poverty and improving access to basic services. Between 2003 and 2011, the poverty headcount declined from 66 percent to 55 percent. However, substantial challenges remain and the government needs the continuous support of the donor community and the private sector to achieve its development aspirations.
Sierra Leone joined the World Bank Group on September 10, 1962 and since then the Bank has been the leading development partner for Sierra Leone, supporting major investments in many sectors including energy, agriculture, fisheries, ICT, transport and mining. The World Bank’s affiliate, IFC, has also been a key supporter of various private sector activities. Total current World Bank portfolio for Sierra Leone has projects and programs worth around $450 million.