The 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa hit Liberia hard, killing over 4,800 people, devastating the lives of thousands more and wreaking havoc on the country’s economy. Grief, fear and panic were widespread. Efforts to contain the disease stalled market activities and caused many families' livelihoods to suffer.
Mercy Corps played an important role in responding to the outbreak, working with local partners to deliver health and hygiene messaging to prevent further spread of the virus.
In June 2013, the World Health Organization declared the end of Ebola transmission in Liberia, but the economic impacts of the outbreak threaten the progress the country has made in its recovery from more than a decade of civil war that ended in 2003.
Ongoing support is critical to address pre-Ebola challenges, including poverty and a dysfunctional healthcare system, and to speed economic recovery and help families overcome the lingering effects of this crisis.
- Emergency response: Mobilized community leaders to teach 2 million people how to protect themselves from Ebola with lifesaving hygiene and Ebola prevention lessons. Set up hand-washing stations and provided accurate, trusted information through mass media, posters, text messages and community meetings.
- Agriculture & food: Distributing emergency food aid to families that have been economically impacted by Ebola. Providing seeds, tools and cash so people can restart livelihoods and purchase food and supplies.
- Children & youth: Implementing mental health recovery programs to help children cope with the emotional effects of the Ebola epidemic.
- Health: Bolstering community preparedness against future Ebola outbreaks. Training community health committees to work more effectively and helping them strengthen their relationships with the local government.
All stories about Liberia
Liberia: Welcome to Liberia
When writer Bija Gutoff visited Mercy Corps programs in Liberia she was greeted with joyful singing and dancing.
Liberia: Community radio in Liberia
Mercy Corps is supporting community radio in Liberia. 75-80 thousand people tune in to learn the latest news and community events.
Liberia: On market day in Gio Town, farmers learn a new way to extract palm oil
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
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
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
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: Dish racks lead to healthier children
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
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
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?
When Mercy Corps talks about rebuilding infrastructure in a country ravaged by war, the words can sound abstract. What the heck is infrastructure?