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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Rebuilding Sierra Leone After Civil War and Ebola

Rebuilding Sierra Leone after civil war, an Ebola survivor tells his story. Before the Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone was on track to overcome its troubled past of civil war. The country's Ebola epidemic is threatening to stop the progress of Sierra Leone’s economic and social growth, more than 40 percent of Sierra Leone's population is under 15 years old. 

Sierra Leone’s flag
Since the end of the civil war in 2002, Sierra Leone has been steadily rebuilding physical, social and health infrastructure. 

Democracy is slowly being reestablished after the civil war from 1991 to 2002 that resulted in tens of thousands of deaths and the displacement of more than 2 million people. 

The armed forces remained on the sideline during the 2007 and 2012 national elections, and over the past year have deployed over 850 peacekeepers in the African Union Mission in Somalia. As of January 2014, Sierra Leone also fielded 122 staff for five UN peacekeeping missions.

In March 2014, the closure of the UN Integrated Peace building Office in Sierra Leone marked the end of more than 15 years of peacekeeping and political operations in Sierra Leone. The government's priorities include furthering development, creating jobs, and stamping out endemic corruption. However, the challenges of endemic corruption, high youth unemployment, inadequate services, and widespread poverty are still critical impediments to progress.

Before the Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone was on track to overcome its troubled past. The post-Ebola recovery period could prove challenging. 

Sierra Leone’s Vision for 2013 to 2035 is to become a middle-income country, be an inclusive, green country, with 80% of the population above the poverty line, have gender equality, a well-educated, healthy population, good governance and rule of law, well-developed infrastructure, macroeconomic stability, with private-sector, export-led growth generating wide employment opportunities; there would be good environmental protection, and responsible natural resource exploitation. 

The post-Ebola recovery period could prove challenging but the small African nation since the end of the civil war in 2002 has found the strength and resources to inch by inch reestablish itself, despite Ebola the county can remain on track for vision 2035.

Ebola Survivor Story

Did you know...Sierra Leone’s flag is three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and blue; green symbolizes agriculture, mountains, and natural resources, white represents unity and justice, and blue the sea and the natural harbor in Freetown.

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