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As MDGs give way to SDGs…

Salone remains a poor country despite growth

July 16, 2015 By Alusine Sesay

The year 2015 marks the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which include the eradication of extreme hunger and poverty, achievement of universal free primary education, promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment, reduction of child mortality, and improvement in maternal health, among others.

After 15 years of global implementation, the MDGs have given way to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to achieving  a just, equitable and inclusive world, as well as commitment by global leaders to work together to promote sustainable and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection which will benefit everyone, in particular the children of the world, youth and future generations of the world without distinction as to age, sex, disability, culture, race, ethnicity, origin, migratory status, religion, economic or other status.

As the MDGs make way for the SDGS, socio-economic indications do not look good for Sierra Leone. A 2014 Poverty Profile of Sierra Leone published by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit of the World Bank rated the country as still poor despite recent growth.

According to the report, the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product per capita levels lags behind the sub-Saharan African average.

“During the period from 2003 to 2011, the GDP per capita, as measured in current United States dollars, increased 78% from 210 to 374. Over the same period, the sub-Saharan average increased 132%, from 623 to 1,445,” said the report.

The report however noted that overall, the poverty incidences was 52.9% in 2011, showing a decline from 66.4% in 2003.

It further painted a gloomy picture about the nature of poverty in Sierra Leone.

“The poor were individuals living in households with per adult equivalent consumption below Le1,625,568 per year in 2011. In 2003, this was equivalent to Le750,326 adult equivalent per year,” the report noted.

The report further indicated that urban poverty rate was substantially lower than rural poverty rate, which also showed a sharper decline over the same period.

“Rural poverty was 66.1 percent in 2011, compared with 78.7 percent in 2003. Urban poverty was 31.2 percent in 2011, a decline from 46.9 percent in 2003, despite an increase in poverty in the country’s largest metropolitan area, Freetown, from 13.6 to 20.7 percent.

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