Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme


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Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme

Rural Finance and Community Improvement Programme

An IFAD grant finances this programme, which contributes directly to achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by improving food security and reducing poverty in Sierra Leone. The programme indirectly supports the government's democratization and stabilization policies by mitigating the tensions and risks that have led to civil war in the past.

In addition to the overall objectives of improving food security and reducing poverty, the programme has the aim of empowering communities, and particularly women and other vulnerable people, to participate in and benefit from community-based investments and to develop institutional capacity to support their efforts.

The goals are to:

  • make significant changes to the rural finance sector, improving its strategies and operations
  • enhance the decentralization of economic and administrative decision-making
  • promote pro-poor investment in rural areas by the private sector

The programme's core concern is achieving sustainability by fostering self-reliance and promoting community ownership of the development process. Its core activity is fostering rural finance services in seven districts. Support activities focus on rehabilitation of crucial infrastructure. The programme works to ensure that all members of the communities involved have a voice in decision-making. Information and awareness-raising campaigns are an integral part of the programme, especially as regards HIV/AIDS and nutrition.

The IFAD-funded grant supports the programme's work to scale up activities through:

  • village-based resource persons, such as development planners at district level
  • farmer field schools
  • informal and formal groups, such as groups of producers or traders
  • development of pro-poor associations of participants in the commodity chain, such as farmers' organizations and chambers of agriculture at various levels 

Under the programme, the financial service association (FSA) pilot project has the goal of promoting adoption of best practices in rural microfinance models as tools for poverty reduction. The specific objective is to establish and manage six FSAs in the country for a period of two years. The pilot project, which started in April 2007, is financed by IFAD with an investment of US$90,000, and by Italian Cooperation with US$450,000. To date, the project has established two FSAs that are now fully operational in Kono and Koinadugu districts. Four more FSAs will be set up in four chiefdoms in Kailahun and Kenema districts. The pilot project reaches communities comprising subsistence farmers and extremely poor households.

Source: IFAD


Status: Closed
Sierra Leone
Approval Date
18 April 2007
2007 - 2014
Credit and Financial Services
Total Project Cost
US$ 13.06 million
IFAD Financing
US$ 12.03 million
Financing terms
DSF Grant
Project ID
Project Contact
Hubert Boirard

Project design reports

Supervision and implementation support documents

Supervision and implementation support documents

Environmental and social impact assessment

Final environmental and social management framework

Interim (mid-term) review report

Resettlement action framework

PCR digest

Special study

Project list

Audit and Financial Statements

Project completion report