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  • Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

Our strategy

Help contain the Ebola outbreak at its source with a massive public health education campaign that has equipped two million people — half the country's population — with lifesaving information and resources to prevent transmission and halt the spread of the disease. Guard against long-term consequences of the outbreak, including food insecurity and loss of livelihoods.

The context

The Ebola outbreak that began in December 2013 spread from a few initial cases in Guinea and hit Liberia hard, devastating communities and killing thousands. Liberia's government and medical systems, still recovering from 14 years of civil wars that ended in 2003, were not prepared to handle a public health emergency of this scale. To date, this is the worst outbreak of Ebola in history — there have already been more cases than in all other previous outbreaks combined.

Beyond its deadly consequences, the disease threatens to undermine the progress that has been made in Liberia over the past decade. The economy had been growing at a relatively impressive rate — mainly because of price increases in extractive commodities such as rubber, palm oil and minerals — but three-quarters of the population still lives below the poverty line of $1 USD a day. Now people are struggling to recover economically from the devastating effects of the outbreak.

Our work

  • Emergency response to the Ebola outbreak: Mobilizing community leaders to teach two million people how to protect themselves from Ebola with lifesaving hygiene and Ebola prevention lessons. Setting up hand-washing stations and providing accurate, trusted information through mass media, posters, text messages and community meetings.
  • Agriculture & food: Connected farmers to markets for high-value agricultural products like rubber, cocoa, palm oil and vegetables.
  • Children & youth: Empowered young people to participate in their communities through civil society organizations and social skills training.
  • Economic opportunity: Connected youth with apprenticeships and financial training and supporting entrepreneurship with business education and small-business loans.

All stories about Liberia