16 October 2002

Sierra Leone: ADB Approves $21.16 Million for Education

Photo: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN
Pupils in Sierra Leone, where just over a third of adults are literate.

Abidjan — The African Development Bank (ADB) has approved financing to the sum of US $21.16 million for a project to rehabilitate basic, non-formal education in Sierra Leone, the ADB reported on Wednesday.

The package includes a US $19.84-million loan and grant of US $1.32-million.

ADB said the "Education III Project" was aimed at implementing an emergency response in the provision of basic education, vocational skills training and functional literacy needs.

ADB said the project would strengthen national educational capacity through the rehabilitation, reconstruction or expansion of 460 primary and 100 junior secondary schools, as well as 40 community education and vocational training centers. It also includes the construction of 138 houses for teachers.

"The project will have an important impact on poverty reduction. Several impoverished parts of Sierra Leone will benefit from school construction or rehabilitation in their communities and 600 schools will benefit directly from the school maintenance programme countrywide," the ADB said.

The project, the ADB added, would also promote national reconciliation by restoring normal school life to children and youth whose lives were disrupted by the war.

Sierra Leone suffered a decade of war between government forces and rebels of the Revolutionary United Front. The war was officially declared over in January.

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