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.