Liberia continues to recover from years of political upheaval and civil conflict that displaced significant numbers of people, disrupted the national economy and destroyed much of the civil infrastructure. An estimated 85% of Liberians live below the poverty line. Weakened by the conflict, social institutions like healthcare and law enforcement struggle to adequately manage public health needs and social issues such as domestic violence.
Liberia was among the countries most severely affected by the outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014, and the country is still dealing with the longer-term effects of the crisis, including disruption to agriculture and livelihoods. Episcopal Relief & Development responded to the Ebola outbreak through the humanitarian arm of the Episcopal Church of Liberia (ECL-RD), supporting emergency response teams to provide direct relief and essential resources such as food, water and healthcare equipment. Our Ebola response has since transitioned to focus on longer-term recovery efforts, such as livelihood assistance, agricultural rehabilitation and mobilizing faith networks to promote accurate information about Ebola prevention and care. By providing continued guidance, support and counseling, we hope to enable those affected by Ebola to reintegrate into their communities without any fear of stigma or alienation.
Episcopal Relief & Development and ECL-RD launched a program in 2015 to mobilize faith networks to end gender-based violence (GBV). The program is funded in part by a three-year, $680,000 grant from the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women, and implemented in collaboration with the Liberian Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection. The aim of the program is to prevent violence against women and girls and increase survivors’ access to services. In 2016, the program expanded its activities in partnership with Islamic Relief USA. The support from IRUSA increases training for faith leaders and other key stakeholders, including youth groups, to use the Faith Leader GBV Prevention and Response Toolkit and promote positive attitudes and behaviors in their institutions and communities. This program launched at an especially critical time in Liberia, as the 2014 outbreak of Ebola left women and girls even more prone to violence and without essential services. To learn more about this program, click here.
Additionally, the Diocese of Liberia participates in NetsforLife®, our program partnership to fight malaria. The program trains volunteers to distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets and educate communities on their proper use to help prevent the disease. For more information about this partnership, please visit our NetsforLife® page.