I. Political Context
With a population of 6.1 million today, Sierra Leone lost an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 people in an armed conflict that raged between 1991 and 2002. Another two million became displaced and took shelter mainly in Guinea and Liberia. The conflict received a lot of international attention because of the use of child soldiers, systematic mutilation, and the use of so‐called "blood diamonds" to finance armed groups. Violence was brought to an end thanks to international peacekeeping forces that were successively deployed in the country. They were provided by the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) and the United Nations. The current President is Ernest Bai Koroma from the All People's Congress (APC). Next presidential and parliamentary elections are scheduled for 2012, which is also when local elections will take place.
Concerning drugs and crime, the country was identified as one of the major gateways in West Africa for cocaine trafficking. The most prominent case has been the landing of a private aircraft at Lungi International Airport in July 2008 with 700 kg cocaine on board. The UN Police (UNPOL) has been very active in strengthening anti‐drug law enforcement capacities, notably with the set up of a Joint Drug Interdiction Task Force (JDITF). This unit brings together all competent law enforcement agencies with a view to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the fight against drug trafficking.
UNODC has also been active in the country. Besides the joint UNODC‐DPKO‐DPA/UNOWA‐INTERPOLWest Africa Coast Initiative (WACI), the Office is currently implementing projects including Sierra Leone in the areas of anti‐money‐laundering, trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling. As a sign of commitment to tackling organized crime and drug trafficking, Sierra Leone hosted a Ministerial Conference in February 2010 that saw the endorsement of the "Freetown Commitment", which provides for the establishment of Transnational Crime Units (TCU) and the development of a national assistance programme in Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea‐Bissau, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The UN system in Sierra Leone is led by an Integrated Office (UNIPSIL) headed by a Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary‐General. UNIPSIL has developed a common strategy document called " UN Joint Vision for Sierra Leone" which is equivalent to the " UNDAF +" in Guinea‐Bissau, " Joining efforts for transition in Côte d'Ivoire", and " At Work Together" in Liberia.
II. Programme Objectives
The " UN Joint Vision for Sierra Leone" presents strategic objectives for the country as well as a general cooperation framework. It is divided into five priorities: 1) Consolidation of peace and stability; 2) Integrating rural areas into the national economy; 3) Economic and social integration of the youth; 4) Equitable and affordable access to health; and 5) Accessible and credible public service. Priorities 1 and 4 contain areas falling under UNODC's mandate such as drug trafficking, law enforcement capacity building, anti‐corruption, and HIV/AIDS prevention. With UNDOC being a key counterpart in the WACI process, the initiative aims at strengthening national capacities and cross‐border cooperation to tackle organized crime and drug trafficking undermining peace and development in West Africa. The NIP for Sierra Leone will complement the West Africa Coast Initiative.
III. Main Outputs
Taking into account current UNODC projects involving the country, the activities of other bilateral aid providers, the WACI, the ECOWAS Regional Action Plan to address the growing problem of illicit drug trafficking, organized crime and drug abuse in West Africa as well as the ECOWAS Political Declaration on the Prevention of drug Abuse, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crimes in West Africa, the following outputs can be defined:
a) Awareness and Research
A victimization survey and a research on the extent of drug abuse are conducted.
b) Drug Prevention and Health
A national policy on drug abuse and HIV/AIDS prevention among (injecting) drug users is developed;
Targeted capacity building activities aimed at health and social professionals are implemented;
Support interventions in the area of drug abuse prevention for the general public, outreach services for vulnerable groups, treatment, and reinsertion of drug users;
A comprehensive package of services regarding HIV/AIDS, STI, TB and Hepatitis in prison settings is provided;
Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS and drug abuse prevention into activities linked to law enforcement and justice is achieved;
Support to the implementation of the recommendations from the Regional Consultation on HIV.
c) Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism
Law enforcement training is further strengthened and infrastructure is improved;
A Transnational Crime Unit is established;
Law enforcement patrolling capacities are improved;
Intelligence and information gathering, analysis and exchange capacities are enhanced;
A Joint Interdiction Team at the international airport and the main seaport is created;
The Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) is strengthened and all relevant actors are sensitized to AML and CFT;
The national legislative framework (terrorism, drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, corruption, etc.) is revised and put in accordance with international commitments the country has made. Advocacy for the ratification and implementation of additional relevant international conventions and protocols is also conducted.
d) Justice and Integrity
Specialized training to practitioners is delivered and syllabuses are reviewed;
Support to the Anti‐Corruption Agency (ACA) is provided and the country takes part in the UNCAC review mechanism;
Support to comprehensive criminal justice reform is provided;
Support for an effective international cooperation in criminal matters is provided;
A victim assistance programme is put in place;
The penitentiary system has undergone reform and applies international standards;
Support to juvenile justice reform is provided.
Mitigation and Risk Factors:
As regards to risks, the most important one is political instability. In 2012, three elections will take place: presidential, legislative and local elections. Each of them carries the potential risk of contestation regarding the election process and its result. UNIPSIL has been already very active preparing the country for this critical year. Should unrests be triggered by the elections' results, this would have an impact on UNDOC's programme in the country. Other risks mainly relate to political commitment and operational engagement. Since technical assistance programmes require the full commitment of the beneficiary agency(ies), lack of engagement and political will could jeopardize the results sought.
IV. Monitoring and Evaluation
Similar to other NIPs, the programme is likely to include a Steering Committee comprising all the main direct beneficiaries, UNODC and the donors that will monitor and prioritize interventions at operational level. The Committee would meet at least on a quarterly basis. Once a year, a high‐level segment meeting comprised of Ministerial counterparts will review past activities, validate upcoming year's work plan, and receive an evaluation of the impact of past measures. At mid‐term and at the end of the NIP, evaluations will be conducted by external experts following modalities jointly agreed between the national authorities, UNODC and the donors.