FREETOWN, December 14, 2023 – The World Bank today approved the Third Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Development Policy Financing (DPF) – a $65 million grant which will support the Government of Sierra Leone to address critical developmental challenges by supporting reforms related to macroeconomic stability, mining sector governance, land management practices, gender equality, and accountability of the public sector.
This DPF, the final in a series of three operations, builds on a programmatic reform plan to support sustainable, robust, and inclusive growth in the country.
“Sierra Leone’s capabilities to eradicate extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity rest on sustained macroeconomic stability, robust growth, and a solid enabling environment for leveraging its abundant natural resources,” said Abdu Muwonge, World Bank Country Manager for Sierra Leone.
“This financing supports reforms that will help address poor governance of the mining and land sectors, enhance inclusion in access to financial services, employment and education, and contribute to reducing fiscal and debt vulnerabilities.”
Sustainable and inclusive growth has been constrained by the country’s exposure to multi-dimensional exogenous shocks (economic, epidemic, climactic), pervasive governance weaknesses, and limited fiscal space and fiscal risks, which inhibit the ability to promote pro-poor growth through public investment. Sierra Leone’s economy has been affected by back-to-back crises, which have aggravated inflationary and fiscal pressures, and increased the risks to debt sustainability.
The reforms supported by this operation will help address several critical developmental challenges while also helping to meet increased financing needs of the government.
“Ongoing structural reforms, including those supported by this operation in input markets such as land, labor, and natural resource management will support sustainability and resilience in the economy. The World Bank will continue to support the government’s commitment to tackle crucial structural reforms to promote inclusive growth,” said Smriti Seth, World Bank Senior Economist and Task Team Leader.
The DPF addresses weaknesses in land management, mining sector governance and SOE governance, while also strengthening climate adaptation and resilience. Reforms supported by the program are consistent with the World Bank’s crisis response framework for supporting green, resilient, inclusive development, and the Global Crisis Response Framework.
This program builds on the strong foundation established by the two earlier operations in this series, which initiated landmark legislative reforms, including promoting decentralized and inclusive land management, strengthening governance and licensing practices in the mining sector, and promoting gender inclusivity in education and employment.