Sierra Leone economic update 2023 : enhancing value chains to boost food security

Sierra Leone’s economy experienced overlapping setbacks during 2022, as external spillovers from the Russian invasion of Ukraine aggravated domestic macroeconomic vulnerabilities. This led to high levels of inflation, a substantially weaker currency, greater imbalances in public finances, and lower foreign exchange reserves. GDP growth slowed in 2022 (from 4.1 percent in 2021 to 3.5 percent) bringing the average GDP growth since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to only around half of the pre-pandemic trend. High global energy and fertilizer prices coupled with a weaker currency translated into accelerating inflation which rose from 12percent in 2021 to 27 percent in 2022, and further to over 50 percent by August 2023, threatening the welfare of households and worsening food insecurity and poverty.