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.
In 2015, ECL-RD and Episcopal Relief & Development launched a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) prevention program in Liberia, funded in part by a $680,000 grant from the UN Trust Fund. This three-year project (2015-2017) focuses on engaging faith-based organizations, including the Episcopal Church of Liberia and others like it, in activities to prevent violence against women and girls and increase survivors’ access to services. Working with the Liberian Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection to share knowledge and resources, our networks are engaging influential religious leaders to incorporate positive messages about SGBV prevention into their everyday engagements with the public. This program launches 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.