Geneva, 24 April 2015
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
In 2014 and early 2015, there was an outbreak of Ebola for the first time in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in West Africa. Even though the disease broke out in other counties (Nigeria, Senegal and Mail), the countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone were the ones most severely hit. This deadly disease, which has no known vaccine or cure, claimed the lives of over 10,000 people. In Liberia alone, over 4,000 people died as the result of the outbreak.
As the result of the Ebola outbreak, the Liberian Government made an appeal to international governments and national and international organizations to help combat this life-threatening disease.
The response from international organizations was very positive and Liberia received a lot of support in combating the virus. Ebola took away many innocent lives and left people psychologically traumatized and stigmatized. The livelihood of the population was greatly affected as communities and families were quarantined to help stop the spread of the virus, thereby disrupting the farming activities and limiting income generation capacities.
Over 3,000 children are orphans as their parents and family members died in the Ebola crisis. The situation was exacerbated by health workers who had no or very limited knowledge on how to handle patients affected by the virus. A country that suffered 14 years of senseless war and still has war affected children to care for, is now confronted with children that have no parents or family to care for them. These children are in dire need of support if their future is to be productive and useful.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
With the support of members of ACT Alliance, the ACT Liberia Forum has effectively intervened, along with other international agencies, in combating the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia. An ACT follow-on response is now urgently needed to provide assistance to those surviving victims of the Ebola crisis. Single parents/orphans and other Ebola survivors need help in restarting livelihoods, water and sanitation, along with psychosocial services and follow up activities outlined under ACT Appeal LBR 141. Indeed, this support to the Ebola affected people is needed to avoid re-occurrence of the outbreak of the virus and help the victims of the Ebola Crisis recover from the effects of the first Ebola outbreak.