With the signing of a peace agreement in 1999 following nine years of civil war, Sierra Leone immediately undertook a reintegration and rehabilitation program. This focused on, first, disarming, demobilizing, and reintegrating ex-combatants, and, second, providing assistance to war-affected communities to help reintegrate huge numbers of people who had fled these communities.
IDA financed a number of operations aimed at assisting Sierra Leone with its rehabilitation effort. The Community Reintegration and Rehabilitation Project directly supported the government’s reintegration program, financing both training and employment initiatives for ex-combatants and sub-projects to rebuild destroyed villages.
More than 1 million Sierra Leoneans are estimated to have benefited directly and indirectly from programs designed to restore social stability and economic activity.
- 16 demobilization centers in 12 districts and 7 interim care centers disarmed 72,000 fighters.
- Almost 50,000 ex-combatants were trained, of which close to 50 percent found employment or self-employment.
- More than 220,000 internally displaced people are back in their locations of choice
- Two-thirds of all ex-combatants are currently residing in their community of choice.
- 269 projects were implemented in agriculture, community infrastructure, education, health, micro-enterprise promotion and reintegration and others.
- 84 schools and 28 health centers back are in operation.
- 200,000 people have access to potable water, 9,000 hectares of land are back under cultivation, and close to a million hectare agricultural land under improved production.
- By breathing new life into agriculture, local government, schools and health posts, these investments created the conditions for residents' return to normal lives.
- US$23.6 million out of the project’s US$41.34 million total cost.
- Building of functional and sustainable institution in the demobilization, disarmament, and rehabilitation of post-war Sierra Leone.
- Providing the basis for social and economic recovery of the rural areas of a war torn country.
- The Bank also played an important role in administering a $US31.5 million multi-donor trust fund created in 1997 for Sierra Leone’s Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration program - which made it feasible to serve the higher-than-expected number of ex-combatants seeking reintegration services
The African Development Fund provided US$12.24 million and local communities provided US$4.1 million in counterpart financing.
In 2002, leveraging on the technical capacity, management skills, assets and community approaches created by the project, the government of Sierra Leone established the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA). NaCSA is implementing donor-funded projects including a national social action project financed by IDA under a separate credit of US$35 million.