Sierra Leone

Home / SUN Countries / Sierra Leone

On 16 January 2012, the Republic of Sierra Leone joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from HE Zainab Hawa Bangura, the Minister of Health and Sanitation. At the time, Sierra Leone had developed a number of policies and designed programmes and strategies including the Free Health Care Initiative and he Sustainable Agricultural Development Programme. Sierra Leone was also receiving support from the UN REACH Partnership.

Progress

Bringing people together
64% 2017

Bringing people together

Coherent policy and legal framework
65% 2017

Coherent policy and legal framework

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
58% 2017

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework

Financial tracking and resource mobilization
48% 2017

Financial tracking and resource mobilization

TOTAL
59% 2017

TOTAL

Nutrition situation

37.9%

Under Five Stunting

10.5%

Low Birth Weight

32%

0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding

9.4%

Under Five Wasting

8.9%

Under Five Overweight

45.2%

Woman Anaemia 15-49 years

8%

Adult Blood Glucose (Diabetes)

25.8%

Adult Overweight

7.6%

Adult Obesity

Strategic objectives

The Office of the Vice President hosts the SUN Secretariat, which convenes meetings of the multi-stakeholder plat- form (MSP) on a regular basis. MSP structures are rolled out at the district level, and, despite challenges including limited resources and lacking participation of MSP partners, district councils coordinate food and nutrition security activities. Terms of reference have been developed for the UN Network for SUN and the SUN Donor Network. SUN Donor Network participation, including alignment of priorities, needs to be strengthened. The private sector needs further mobilisation on the importance of nutrition. Meanwhile, the SUN Civil Society Network is well established at the district level.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The coordination mechanism has been established, as per the 2013-16 Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan. Coordination mechanisms exist at the district level but need expanding to the chiefdom/community level. The national platform meets every two months however, at the district level, coordination mechanisms exist but need to be strengthened in order to expand to chiefdom/ community levels. The Vice-President’s Office hosts the fully functioning SUN Secretariat. Line Ministries (MOHS and MAFFS) have deepened their integration of nutrition into programmes, and have recruited more district nutritionists. There is a need to expand membership of various networks.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The Ebola epidemic is having a dire effect on key development areas (Agriculture, Education, Trade, Transport and Health) and the SUN Secretariat, housed in the office of the Vice President, is fully aware of the difficult challenges to tackle food insecurity and high disease burden, especially among the vulnerable sectors of society. Sierra Leone has called upon all stakeholders from the Civil Society Platform (CSP), the private sector, donors and the United Nations (UN) family (that meets regularly) to partner with the government to support the scaling-up nutrition (SUN) programme and enable the SUN Secretariat to develop and support districts food and nutrition multisectoral coordination mechanisms.The CSP is made up of national and international non-governmental organisations and community based groups working in various fields, including farmers, fishers, human rights defenders, women’s groups, youth associations, research entities, consumer groups, trade unions that come together as a powerful voice calling for action and investment in nutrition. The CSP is collaborating with the media to strengthen and coordinate food and nutrition messages.

Last updated: October 2015

The Government is committed to addressing food and nutrition crisis prevention and management through policies and plans, which, in turn, contribute to resilience-building for the most vulnerable population. The main policy drivers are: 1) The National Sustainable Agricultural Development plan (NSADP) 2010; 2) The National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan (NFNSIP) 2013-2017); 3) The CAADP National Investment Plan; 4) The draft Inclusive Comprehensive Agriculture Development Programme (2016-2020); and 5) The Agenda for Prosperity (A4P, 2013-2018). In view of this, the National Resilience Priorities (NRP) document was developed with the support of the MSP and launched in April 2017 by the Minister of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security. A Code Committee has been established to support the parliament and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation accelerate the endorsement of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. In 2016, Sierra Leone became the sixth country in Africa to launch Food-Based Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Eating. Members of parliament have been sensitised on the importance of nutrition.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The 2015-2017 National Ebola Recovery Strategy prioritises women and children, in particular. The rotation of executive officers and ministers to new posts has been seen in recent months, which, offers an opportunity to drive policy around a Common Results Framework. Advocacy pushes for the alignment of policies and legislation with the Implementation Plan. A series of nutritionrelevant policies are in the final stage of review or have been completed, on topics such as gender equality, agriculture, land, small and medium-sized enterprises, and food-based dietary guidelines.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
To ensure full political support to the SUN programme, the political Executive is well informed and fully understands the need to include nutrition in the country’s development political agenda. With support of the parliamentary committees (Health, Agriculture, Gender, and Education), parliament is accelerating the enactment of pro-nutrition legislation. Parliamentary committees are also demanding clarification on nutritional outcomes of children under five and women in child bearing age for all development policies, programmes and strategies passing through parliament. Parliamentarians are ensuring there is increased community participation and understanding of nutrition issues, and the sustainability of programmes. Sierra Leone has made nutrition a priority in its five-year Poverty Reduction Strategic Plan – the “Agenda for Prosperity”. The National Food and Nutrition Policy was validated and launched in June 2015. Other nutrition-specific policies (on infant and young child malnutrition, acute malnutrition and micronutrient supplementation) and nutrition-sensitive policies covering key sectors like agriculture and food security, poverty reduction and development, and public health exist but need to be operationalised. UN agencies have integrated nutrition into their country development programmes, plans and the UN Development Action Framework (UNDAF) and are bringing technical support to finalise legislation that support the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.

Last updated: October 2015

The planned mid-term review of the common results framework (CRF), i.e. the NFNSIP 2013-2017, has been delayed due to the Ebola response. However, a final review is planned for in 2017 which will result in a new NFNSIP 2018-2022 and an updated CRF. REACH is set to return to Sierra Leone and will facilitate this review process. The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) remains aligned with the NFNSIP and A4P, as well as the Presidential Recovery Plan.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The post-Ebola strategic plans are aligned with SUN Principles, where women and children are at the core of all actions. All national nutrition policies are aligned with SUN, although the gradually, efforts to mainstream and rolling out to the districts have been gradual. District planning officers at district councils are key to align sectoral policies. National policies are in line with SUN principles and used to develop action plans and to strengthen coordination at national and district levels. The UNDAF is aligned to the Implementation Plan and Agenda for Prosperity (A4P), with clearly defined targets. Joint monitoring is taking place but there is room for improvement and better coordination is needed.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The National Food and Nutrition Implementation Plan (NFNIP) is the common results framework. It has been reviewed, validated and was launched in July 2015 by the Vice President. The NFNIP and budget has been developed by stakeholders across multiple sectors to translate the goals, objectives and strategies articulated in the draft National Food and Nutrition policy into implementable priority areas and activities. Programmes are aligned around priority areas with the involvement of relevant line ministries, local government and external stakeholder groups. Nine ministerial Focal Persons have been identified to support the implementation of scaled-up interventions and services and there is a need to develop a joint monitoring tool based on outcome indicators. Development of the tool has been postponed due to the Ebola outbreak.

“Our Scale Up Nutrition plans were well underway until last year when Ebola struck with its horrible toll on all facets of society, especially the health sector. However, the Ebola epidemic only slowed our progress, but it has never wiped out our determination and commitment to building a healthy and prosperous Sierra Leone. Food and nutrition security is certainly one endeavor we will pursue without relenting, because, it is a significant dimension of our economic and human development. Our resolve to attain prosperity shall therefore be without hindrance.” – Sierra Leone Vice President, Victor Bockarie Foh, July 2015.

Download the National Food and Nutrition Implementation Plan (2013-2017) | Learn about the launch of the Implementation Plan in July 2015

Last updated: October 2015

Since the NFNSIP 2013-2017 was costed, there have been no gaps identified, nor has there been a coordinated mobilisation of funds. Budget tracking for nutrition is ongoing, however, it only targets government expenditures of eight line ministries. Donors track their allocations individually, but not in a coordinated manner. The new NFNSIP 2018-2022 will identify priorities and funding gaps. There is ongoing advocacy to the Government and partners in a bid to transform commitments into allocations and actual expenditures.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan has been costed. There is a need to review and develop the next five year Plan. The Government has completed a comprehensive budget tracking exercise, which provides information on resource allocations and gaps. On this basis, the Government and partners are advocating for increased resources for nutrition. One of the challenges remains to turn pledges into actual payouts.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The Government is paying salaries for the SUN Secretariat and logistics are being provided. The budget of the (NFNIP) was finalised in 2014 and the government finances most of it (including staffing and operations). However, this has been challenged by the outbreak of Ebola although the government is still committed to increasing resources to nutrition and food security and will maintain specific budget lines for nutrition in the budgets of the Ministries of Health and Agriculture. Sierra Leone has recruited personnel in the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security and Social Welfare. Irish Aid intends will continue to support the nutrition sector in 2015, most importantly, during the postEbola recovery phase. Donors and the CSP are encouraging the SUN Secretariat to monitor and evaluate the execution of nutrition budget from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and Development Partners. Parliament is also playing an important role in advocating for government financial commitment and increased funding to SUN interventions in the country.

Last updated: October 2015

SUN Government Focal Point

Aminata Shamit Koroma
Director of Food and Nutrition, Directorate of Food and Nutrition, Ministry of Health and Sanitation

Mohamed Foh
SUN Coordinator in the Office of the Vice-President

Donor Convenor

  • IrishAid
  • USAID