Liberia: Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Final Report n° MDRLR001

Situation Report
Originally published
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A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

  • March 2014: First cases detected in Liberia, following initial outbreak in Guinea
  • April 2014: IFRC Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT) deployed; 101,388 Swiss francs DREF allocated. Emergency Appeal launched for 517,766 Swiss francs
  • May 2014: Emergency Response Unit (ERU) deployed
  • July 2014: Revised Appeal n° 1 issued for 1.9 million Swiss francs
  • September 2014: Revised Appeal n° 2 issued for 8.5 million Swiss francs
  • November 2014: Revised Appeal n° 3 issued for 24.5 million Swiss francs
  • May 2015: WHO declares Ebola outbreak in Liberia over for the first time (subsequent minor outbreaks recorded in June and November 2015 and March 2016)
  • June 2015: Revised Appeal n° 4 issued, budget revised to CHF 46,3 million Swiss francs
  • September 2016: Revised Appeal n° 5 issued, budget revised to 22.1 million Swiss francs

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa was the largest ever recorded, both in terms of caseload and geographical spread, and the first in West Africa. In Liberia, the first EVD cases were reported in March 2014, eventually spreading to all of the country’s 15 counties of Liberia triggering fear, stigma, denial due to limited awareness and knowledge of the disease. By June 2016, a cumulative total of 10,672 cases and 4,810 deaths had been recorded in Liberia, of which 192 deaths had occurred amongst health care workers. International aid organizations scaled up efforts to reinforce the Liberian government’s capacity to respond to the EVD outbreak which devastated the already poorly equipped, understaffed and inadequate healthcare infrastructure. Community engagement to ensure proper supervision and education on safe burial practices and contact tracing accompanied by extensive education and awareness campaigns were prioritised to reduce the risk of transmission.

Following the end of the EVD emergency, recovery programming commenced with a focus on enhancing capacity and building resilience to minimise the risk and impact of future epidemics and other disasters. Recovery interventions were linked to longer-term development plans to enhance sustainability without losing emergency response capabilities. The institutional memory, lessons learned and capacity developed during the Ebola operation were maintained and incorporated into recovery phase of the operation. The success of recovery interventions relied heavily on a strong and effective National Society. Following an integrity crisis of the LNRCS which began in the third quarter of 2015, a transitional plan supported by Movement partners was initiated to ensure that the National Society was stabilized and strengthened to enable it to carry out its humanitarian mandate and deliver services to the most vulnerable.