World Bank Approves Additional Financing of US$10.0 Million for Sierra Leone’s Social Safety Nets Project

August 6, 2015

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2015- The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved an additional financing of US$10.0 million for Sierra Leone’s Social Safety Nets Project (SSN).

This additional grant maintains the original objective of the SSN Project implemented by the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA), which is mainly to provide income support to extremely poor households in Sierra Leone.

This grant will deliver cash transfers to an additional 7,000 beneficiaries in five new districts in Sierra Leone.

The original International Development Association (IDA)* project of US$7 million was approved by the Bank Board of Directors in March 2014 in support for Sierra Leone’s efforts to create strong building blocks for a social safety net system that would identify and deliver cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households. The Project started with a pilot program covering four districts (Kono, Bombali, Moyamba and Western Rural), and benefitted 12,000 extremely poor households.

“The social safety net system is proving very useful for Sierra Leone, because it reaches the poorest families whose situation has been worsened by the negative impact of the Ebola Virus Disease,” said Francis Ato Brown, World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone.

The grant would also ensure efficient implementation of the project and provide capacity building to key stakeholders at both central and local level, while scaling up program management and institutional capacity building activities, namely additional staff, equipment, training/knowledge events, and operating expenses, Monitoring and Evaluation, and coordination.

“The Social Safety Nets Project is benefitting many poor households in Sierra Leone through the women- who tend to spend the money in ways that benefit the family. It enables them to buy food, send their children to school, access basic health facilities and protect their assets such as livestock,” said Nina Rosas, the World Bank’s Team Task Leader for the Project. “This new grant will benefit more poor Sierra Leoneans and will cushion the impact of the EVD on their livelihoods.”

The project is also helping to create systems for targeting and registering eligible households, making electronic payments to beneficiaries, grievance redress mechanism, and generating management data and information that will be useful for other development programs.

*The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Aby Toure
Tel : (202) 473-8302
In Sierra Leone
Ahmed Sahid Nasralla
Tel : + 232 22 227 488