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Liberia

We are assisting the people of Liberia to rebuild their country after a prolonged period of conflict. Our focus is on ensuring that people live fuller and healthier lives.  Since the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia in 2014 Ireland has also been assisting the government and NGOs in their response.

(c) Panos Picures. Liberia is experiencing poor sanitary condition that is leading to the deaths of over 1,800 children less than five years die each year from diarrhoea – nearly 90% of which is directly attributed to poor water, sanitation and hygiene.

Ireland and Liberia

Ireland’s engagement with Liberia is managed by our Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Regular visits to Liberia are undertaken from Freetown. A sub-office was opened in Monrovia in 2010 and now has two full-time staff. 

Over the period 2005-2013, we have provided over €64 million in support of a variety of programmes implemented by government and civil society partners. These programmes have a strong focus on strengthening the country’s health systems.  Funding for 2015 will support the health system (€4m) and water, sanitation and hygiene activities (over €1.2m) contributing to the Ebola response and secondary impact mitigation.

Background

Situated in West Africa, Liberia continues to go through a period of immense change as it makes the transition from decades of civil war towards stability and democracy.  Two successive periods of conflict between 1989 and 1996, and 1999 and 2003 claimed more than a quarter of a million lives, displaced one million people and devastated the country’s social, political and physical infrastructure. 

While Liberia has made some tangible progress in the implementation of the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, it is still one of the world’s poorest countries and was ranked 175 out of 187 countries on the 2014 UN Human Development Index. The country continues to face considerable challenges in delivering basic health services and in rebuilding critical infrastructure devastated by the civil war.  It is estimated that 64% of Liberians live below the absolute poverty line. While the malnutrition situation has improved significantly since 2006, chronic malnutrition (measured by the number of stunted children) remains among the highest in the world at almost 42%.  Only 25% of the population has access to improved sanitation and 62% has access to improved drinking sources. There continue to be significant inequalities in terms of gender, geographical disparities, as well as urban-rural divides.

Our Work

Ireland’s development programme with Liberia aims to support long-term reconstruction and development, working in close cooperation with the Liberian Government and other partners such as United Nations agencies and NGOs. Irish Aid’s programme with Liberia supports the Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (The Agenda for Transformation) in areas such as health, water and sanitation, good governance and gender. 

In 2014 Ireland provided €6.28m in funding to Liberia, through the bilateral country programme, through Irish NGOs and also by providing humanitarian assistance, primarily in response to the Ebola outbreak.  Due to the Ebola crisis in 2014/2015, Irish Aid’s new strategy for Liberia, due to begin in 2015, will now commence only in 2017. 

A key focus of our programme is to strengthen the country’s health systems and basic primary health care services. The largest proportion of our funding is channelled through the Ministry of Health & Social Welfare’s Health Sector Pool Fund in addition to funding to a number of NGOs for the delivery of basic health services. To complement funding to the health sector, we support an NGO Consortium which aims to improve sustainable access to water, sanitation and hygiene services. 

Ireland also supports the work of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) in tackling high levels of gender-based violence. Support is also being provided for a joint initiative from the Ministry of Justice in Liberia and UNMIL/UNPOL to train a total of 60 Liberia National Police officers at senior and middle management level, in Post Graduate and Certificate studies in Public Administration. 

Our Results

Clean water and sanitation make a difference

Visit our page on water and sanitation to learn more what we and our partners do to increase access to safe, clean water and basic sanitation for poor communities.

Clean water and sanitation make a difference

Visit our page on water and sanitation to learn more what we and our partners do to increase access to safe, clean water and basic sanitation for poor communities