Help contain the Ebola outbreak at its source with a massive public health education campaign that will equip 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 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 measures to contain the Ebola outbreak like quarantines and restrictions on trade and movement are raising prices close to out-of-reach for many Liberians and making it difficult to bring food and essential household supplies into communities outside the capital of Monrovia.
- 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.
Other program activities have been reoriented to direct all efforts to the Ebola response.
- 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
Liberia: On market day in Gio Town, farmers learn a new way to extract palm oil March 31, 2010
Wednesday is market day in Gio Town, a small village in Liberia’s Grand Bassa County. By mid-morning the stalls are crowded with vendors and shoppers.
Liberia: A sweet business: Cocoa brings new hope to Liberian farmers March 31, 2010
Liberia is a lush tropical rainforest, just the right climate to grow cocoa beans. And before the country’s two civil wars, it did just that.
Liberia: Redefining success: My journey to Liberia March 17, 2010
Glance down a deeply rutted Monrovia side street and you may see, at the end of the block, a glimpse of palm trees, sandy coastline and the rolling ocean. Blink, and you may briefly imagine you’re in Mexico or another beachy getaway.
Liberia: Changing her life with goats March 17, 2010
Victoria Dannies, 33, is divorced, with three daughters and two sons. Thanks to the training she received in Mercy Corps’ Youth Education for Life Skills (YES) program, she’s able to take good care of herself and her children.
Liberia: From war survivor to community leader March 17, 2010
Ellen Joe is 36 and divorced, with two daughters and two sons. She’s the chairwoman of the Gbarpaywhea Community Development Committee, which oversees the village peace, education, agriculture and health working groups.
Liberia: Tiny and tough March 17, 2010
Annie Garfree is 42, with five daughters and one son. She’s soft-spoken, with smart eyes and a steely determination.
Liberia: Dish racks lead to healthier children March 17, 2010
Of the 12 children that 50-year-old Annie Dolo gave birth to, seven are living. The other five died of malaria and measles.
Liberia: Mama na come November 19, 2009
Liberians have lots of great expressions, and I've enjoyed learning some of them as we traveled the country. I've shared a few of them here on my blog — how da body, tryin' small, a fish cup of rice.
Liberia: A fish cup of rice November 18, 2009
Rice is a staple food in Liberia. But it's not easy for Liberians to fill their bowls or their bellies these days. Like poor people the world over, they've been slammed by the steep increases in food prices of the past couple of years.
Liberia: What the heck is infrastructure, anyway? November 17, 2009
When Mercy Corps talks about rebuilding infrastructure in a country ravaged by war, the words can sound abstract. What the heck is infrastructure?