Prior to the EVD outbreak, Sierra Leone had made substantial progress in recovering from the impacts of its decade-long civil war. The security and political situation in the country was relatively calm and stable. National institutions were built or strengthened in the areas of democratic governance, elections, human rights, anti-corruption, and security sector coordination. Rising levels of investment were driving economic growth, and attention was turned to addressing large-scale development challenges. The country was fast transitioning to a new era of development guided by its third Poverty Reduction Paper, the Agenda for Prosperity (A4P) 2013-2018.
The peaceful elections of 2012, and subsequent launching of the Constitutional Review Process in 2013, were critical indicators of the collective aspirations of the people of Sierra Leone for political consolidation, social cohesion and economic well-being. The drawdown of UNIPSIL in 2014 offered the UN the opportunity to reposition itself and respond to the country’s longer-term development needs and address persistent issues related to fragility emanating from systemic poverty, high levels of youth unemployment, and capacity constraints. The expectations of a dramatic economic turn-around linked to investments in the extractive industry raised the stakes during and after the 2012 elections, and the expectations of a better future for all Sierra Leoneans.