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.
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.
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- 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.
- Population (2014 est.): 4 million
- UN Human Development Index rank: 175 (out of 187)
- Mercy Corps has worked here since 2002
All stories about Liberia
Liberia: Clean Water and a Fresh Start July 18, 2007
Liberia: Victoria: Raising Awareness, Reducing Risk November 30, 2006
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Liberia: The Power of Water April 7, 2006
Liberia: Narrowing Education's Gender Gap March 7, 2006
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Liberia: Spreading the Word December 1, 2005
Tuzan Village, Grand Gedeh County, Liberia - On the stoop of a gray mud house near the center of this lush farming village, Jessica Quarles pulls aside adolescent boys and young women, one by one, to get their thoughts on the biggest public-health risk to their generation.
Liberia: Now Broadcasting Where No Other News Can Go November 16, 2005
Of the 193 countries in this world, perhaps none is more dysfunctional, impoverished and wretched than Liberia, a nation of three million people on the west coast of Africa.
Liberia: In War's Aftermath, a New Model of Progress October 27, 2005
Liberia: Hope is On the Horizon September 29, 2005
One hundred and fifty-eight years ago, freed slaves from the United States founded Liberia in hopes of creating an America where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were truly inalienable rights. "The love of liberty brought us here" was enshrined as the West African nation's motto.
Liberia: Community Radio Gets a New Lease on Life February 9, 2004
Interpress Service News Agency Abdullah Dukuly