What are the needs?
Over a decade after the end of the civil war that ravaged Liberia from 1989 to 2003, the country continues to face considerable challenges in restoring basic services. Liberia is one of the least developed countries in the world with high child and maternal mortality. Two-thirds of Liberians live in poverty and the country has the highest number of out-of-school children among countries no longer at war.
Needs are particularly acute in eastern counties where Ivoirians sought refuge following the 2010 post-electoral violence in their home country. While the pace of repatriation has increased, some
60 000 refugees remain in camps or in host communities.
Donor support has allowed Liberia to adopt a free health care policy, but essential health services only cover 17% of the population whereas 40% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition, 40% of the population is vulnerable to food insecurity and water and sanitation coverage is low.
How are we helping?
Since 1992, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has funded humanitarian programmes which ranged from emergency relief to reconstruction. In the current transition phase from humanitarian to development aid ECHO has started to phase out its support.
Activities in the health, nutrition and food security sector are now funded through EU development funds. The 11th European Development Fund (2014-2020) concentrates on supporting the sectors of state building and education. From 2008 to 2013, ECHO supported water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes with gradually decreasing funding in an effort to link relief, rehabilitation and development (LRRD).
ECHO continues to fund a cross-border programme on both sides of the Liberian-Ivoirian border with the aim of improving social cohesion and food security for the refugee, returnee and host populations. Given the real risk of social unrest and insecurity ECHO continues to closely monitor the situation.