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.
Liberia: Every child should be in the picture
In Parker Town, Gbarpolu County, in the north of Liberia where Mercy Corps has a number of agriculture programs, I rounded up these children for a group portrait.
Liberia: Grow what you eat, eat what you grow
Liberia: These children play with nothing, anything, everything
Liberia: 'How da body?'
Pounding rain, deep red mud...and a hundred smiles.
Liberia: Cocoa, arm wrestling and opportunity
Annie Garfree has six children, three daughters and three sons. Only her boys are currently in school. But she's eager to make sure all of them get an education.
Liberia: Women take the lead
As long as I can remember, there’s been a world map hanging in my grandmother’s kitchen.
Liberia: Clean Water and a Fresh Start
Liberia: Score One for AIDS Awareness
Many young people in Liberia subscribe to some of the more dangerous myths about HIV and AIDS. Some believe it comes from the neighboring country of Cote D'Ivoire; others say it is spread through dog bites.
Liberia: The Power of Water
Liberia: Narrowing Education's Gender Gap
Karto, Liberia — The sturdy new schoolhouse in this rural farming village of 2,000 represents a new hope — especially for young women like Margaret. Currently, she is one of 90 million girls around the world who don't go to school.