Country updates

REACH resumes activity in Sierra Leone at the request of the Government and with the backing of the UN Network for SUN                                                                                       
6 July 2017

REACH has reengaged in Sierra Leone in an effort to further strengthen the country's nutrition governance, thanks to the support of Irish Aid. The current REACH work builds on the initial REACH engagement, funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, that unfolded from 2011 to 2013, when the SUN Movement was in the early stages of inception. A newly recruited National REACH Facilitator is shepherding these efforts, working alongside the SUN Government Focal Point and focal points from the member agencies of the UN Network for SUN in-country (FAO, IFAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO). His presence is helping to build the capacity of Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat staff to orchestrate and facilitate multi-sectoral nutrition processes. Based within the Office of the Vice President, the Facilitator has worked quickly to help the Secretariat intensify activity, starting with the SUN Joint Assessment and the ongoing efforts to update the Multi-sectoral Nutrition Overview and National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan.

The Overview is one of REACH's reputed analytical exercises, which depicts the main nutrition trends observed in the country as well as the factors driving them. It draws upon secondary data which is repackaged into graphs, maps and other data visualization outputs, such as dashboards. Not only does it help to foster a common language among diverse stakeholders, it also helps to attract the attention of decision-makers, galvanize support and can inform a range of nutrition governance processes to ensure that they are context-specific. The Facilitator is actively serving on a technical committee dedicated to this exercise, and comprised of staff from the country's SUN Secretariat, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, the UN Network for SUN focal points and NGOs. More specifically, his neutral facilitation support is helping to articulate the full range of nutrition issues in the Multi-sectoral Nutrition Overview, which is expected to be finalised later this month. The findings of the Overview will be leveraged in advocacy targeting parliamentarians and the updating of the National Food and Nutrition Security Implementation Plan.

Mr. Foday Sawi appointed new Deputy Minister of Health

January 2013

Mr. Foday Sawi, the REACH National Facilitator in Sierra Leone, has been appointed as the new Deputy Minister of Health. His work with REACH contributed to place nutrition as one of the top priorities in the political agenda. We wish him all the best in his new position.

REACH-supported research helps planning the implementation of the Sierra Leone national food and nutrition policy

 August 2011

REACH supported a field operational research in Sierra Leone on the linkages between local agricultural development and health-focused nutrition programming. The research identified practical ways for local smallholder farmers to benefit from the institutional and market food supply chains generated by scaling-up food based nutrition actions. Ideally, the resulting model for these linkages will be further improved in Sierra Leone and become a working model for increasing these linkages in the other 21 countries in Africa with a high undernutrition burden.

The study included a country mapping exercise and a detailed intervention analysis on the nutritional impact of a few selected agricultural interventions in Sierra Leone. Such analysis is part of an agriculture-nutrition research initiative of REACH, Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR), the Sierra Leone Agriculture Research Institute (SLARI) and Njala University. This initiative aims at identifying food/agriculture-based interventions that contribute to improved nutrition and that have potential for scaling up in the context of Sierra Leone.

Findings from this research contributed to the design of the food and nutrition policy implementation plan as well as to mainstreaming nutrition into the Small Holder Commercialisation Programme of the FAO Mapping Action for Food Security (MAFFS) platform.

More information

REACH helps Sierra Leone define for the first time key priority interventions in nutrition and food security

February 2011

Defining priorities for interventions is critical in an economy that needs to achieve maximum impact from limited resources. The five priorities identified for Sierra Leone are:

  1. improving breastfeeding and complementary feeding
  2. improving diarrhoea and parasite control
  3. treatment of acute malnutrition
  4. improving household food security
  5. improving maternal nutrition and education.

This result was achieved following a comprehensive nutrition and food security situation analysis, along with a multi-faceted analysis of the causes of malnutrition. Such activities were made possible thanks to a grant by Bill and Melinda Gates and with support from REACH, which also facilitated a mapping exercise of nutrition and food security.


© WFP 2012