The Freetown/Blue Peace Initiative
Sierra Leone features one of the flagship programmes for UNCDF--the Freetown/Blue Peace Initiative. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); the Municipality of Freetown, Sierra Leone; and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) announced the launch of the Freetown/Blue Peace Initiative. The vision of the initiative is to construct reliable water, sanitation and hygiene facilities (WASH) as an extension of delivering safe, affordable, sustainable water to the residents of Freetown; while at the same time demonstrating a successful model for financing sustainable water production and consumption in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs).
The “Digital Financial Services" Project
The “Digital Financial Services” project, administered by UNCDF and supported by the India Brazil South Africa (IBSA) Fund, aims to expand digital financial services among women, youth, micro, small and medium enterprises. The expected impact of the project is the resilient and inclusive economic growth through provision of digital financial services, which would be available, accessible and affordable to all Sierra Leoneans and MSMEs. This will contribute to the achievement of Sierra Leone’s Medium-Term National Development Plan, Sustainable Development Goals and national financial inclusion goals through digital financial services.
UNCDF is also operating in Sierra Leone through our Inclusive Digital Economies practice, specifically to make access to financial services available, accessible and affordable. Among the legacy challenges in the country is the lack of suitable products to meet the needs of the unbanked and the underbanked. In order to address these challenges, the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) 2017-2020 was developed with support from UNCDF. UNCDF has also conducted extensive diagnostic analysis of digital financial services in Sierra Leone, resulting in our publication, State of the Digital Financial Services Market in Sierra Leone in 2021.