More than 60% of Liberians live in poverty. This fact, along with the devastating Ebola crisis in 2014, widespread hunger, and prevalent violence against women make Liberia one of the most unsafe countries for women and children.
Years of political upheaval and civil conflict in Liberia caused widespread disruption to public services, infrastructure and the economy, from which the country is still recovering. More recently, Liberia was severely affected by the Ebola outbreak, and communities are still dealing with the long-term effects of this crisis.
Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the humanitarian arm of the Episcopal Church of Liberia (ECL-RD) to support agricultural and economic rehabilitation in areas heavily impacted by the Ebola crisis. Demonstration farms offer local farming groups access to land, seeds, tools and training to produce cash crops for income and vegetables to nourish their families. By increasing their harvests and creating products with greater shelf life and sale value, the groups can invest in farming and processing equipment and other community development initiatives. In 2018, the ECL-RD program aims to increase the success and wellbeing of 783 farmers through the establishment of eight new farmer-managed learning centers in eight communities. Savings groups further support the economic empowerment of communities and create opportunities for discussion and action on violence against women and the social and economic reintegration of Ebola survivors and their families. In 2018, the program is set to improve the economic and social wellbeing of 1,260 women and men from 52 savings groups in eight different counties throughout Liberia.
We are also working through ECL-RD and its networks to engage faith leaders in addressing and preventing violence against women in Liberia. This program, which is supported by the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and Islamic Relief USA, encourages and trains faith leaders such as pastors and imams to speak out against violence and to change cultural norms in their communities. Similarly, youth leaders of Christian and Muslim youth groups and school leaders will increasingly speak out against violence towards women and girls and will provide support to survivors. Direct care and shelter for survivors of violence will also be provided, and advocacy for their rights and access to services will be promoted throughout local communities.
Our work with Women focuses on helping communities promote the rights of women and children and move toward the vision that everyone deserves a life free from violence in a society where they are treated with dignity and respect. Only then can communities truly heal and thrive.
Our work with Children supports and protects kids under six so they reach appropriate health
and developmental milestones. This focus on early development is foundational and critical to
helping children achieve their full potential as future contributing members of their communities.
Almost one billion people are affected by chronic hunger and poverty worldwide. Malnutrition or lack of access to food can jeopardize overall productivity, health and well-being. Read more about Agriculture.Read more about Agriculture
Planning ahead for disasters can go far in minimizing their potential impact – especially for people already facing poverty, who may lose their few assets or safety nets. To this end, Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with the Episcopal/Anglican Church to better prepare for and respond to disasters. Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction.Read more about Disaster Risk Reduction
Our micro-finance programs emphasize involving both women and men, which can be very effective in promoting gender awareness and empowering women. When women become breadwinners, they increase their role in household decision-making, which often enhances the whole family’s well-being. Read more about Micro-finance.Read more about Micro-finance
Gender equality, women’s empowerment and gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response are cross-cutting themes that shape and inform all of Episcopal Relief & Development’s integrated programs worldwide. In order to sustainably and equitably address hunger, poverty, disease and post-disaster relief and recovery, local attitudes and customs around gender, power and gender-based violence must also be taken into account.Read more about Gender Equality & GBV