In its country specific meeting of 12 October 2006, the Peacebuilding Commission formally declared Sierra Leone as eligible to receive assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). A revised Peacebuilding Priority Plan was subsequently finalized by the Government of Sierra Leone and the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) in October 2008.
On 1 March 2007, the Secretary-General formally announced that an allocation of US$35 million from the Peacebuilding Fund had been made towards Sierra Leone, in the following priority areas: Youth Empowerment and Employment, Democracy and Good Governance, Justice and Security and Capacity Building of Public Administration. The Priority Plan was revised in July 2008 to include a fifth Priority Area; Support to Increased Energy.
In December 2010, an additional US$7 million was granted by PBF for Sierra Leone’s Priority Plan 2011-2013. This plan strategically builds upon the results achieved through the first funding allocation and will cover:
- Non-State elements of Democratic Elections and Political Dialogue
- Support to Democratic Institutions
- Access to Justice and Human Rights *
- Reparations for War Victims *
- Gender Equality and Women’s Rights
* These projects are a continuation of the activities initiated with PBF’s first funding allocation.
Twenty five projects were approved under the first Priority Plan, most of which have been completed. A Final Independent Evaluation was carried out in January 2011 which highlighted the relevance and significant achievements of this first Plan.
Examples of successful projects implemented in Sierra Leone are:
- PBF funded a Reparations Unit within the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) and a Special Fund for War Victims for US$ 4.4m. The activity registered more than 32,000 war victims, surpassing significantly the estimated 19,000 target figure. Payments for the first installment of micro-grants and educational activities have benefited 20,000. Also, 235 victims of sexual violence have been provided with assistance and 40 community symbolic reparations undertaken. A five-year strategy for fund raising has also been developed.
- A US$ 1.5m project, implemented by UNDP, enabled the Human Rights Commission (HRCSL) to strengthen national mechanisms, particularly those to address discrimination against women. The Commission had received and addressed 244 complaints resulting in the release of 30 prisoners, referral of 25 cases to the Ombudsman and other relevant institutions by early-2009. The HRCSL undertook a baseline survey on perceptions, assisted with the formulation of the country’s Gender Bills and produced the first report on Human Rights situation in Sierra Leone in March 2008.
- In March 2009, Sierra Leone experienced an incident of political violence and the PBF was able to support the UN Missions’ response by funding rapid but modest security support projects (US$ 1.9m) that engaged political rivals on a Joint Communiqué and youth-focused activities. Results include the creation of a common platform for peaceful political engagement and dialogue amongst the youth wings of political parties and the launching of Commissions of Inquiry into the origins of the violence and alleged human rights abuses of opposition supporters.
- Fighting corruption is often identified as a critical issue in post-conflict settings. In Sierra Leone, using PBF resources amounting to US$ 0.35m and in partnership with UNDP, the Secretariat of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NAC) was strengthened, a national strategy was designed and advocacy was undertaken with the Sierra Leonean public on social responsibilities through TV, radio and printed media. Civil Society has monitored the government’s implementation.
Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site