USAID assistance to Liberia

News and Press Release
Originally published

BUDGET (in '000s)
FY 2001
FY 2002
FY 2003
Development Assistance/ Child Survival
$ 7,570
$ 5,725
$ 5,200
Economic Support Fund
$ 0
$ 1,150
PL 480 Title II
$ 3,062
$ 5,642
$ 1,027
Democracy and Human Rights Fund
$ 50
$ 50
Special Self-Help Fund
$ 70
$ 75
Foreign Disaster Assistance
$ 0
$ 25
$ 10,752
$ 12,667
$ 6,227

Note: USAID's program in Liberia is one of eight direct U.S. assistance programs in West Africa, and USAID maintains a fully staffed office in Monrovia.


Although presidential elections in 1997 marked the end of its civil war, Liberia continues to face overwhelming challenges. The economy and government of Liberia are still recovering and the donor community is supplying basic human needs. Eighty percent of the country's 2.6 million people live in poverty and are illiterate. Severe unemployment has become the norm and corruption is widespread. Given the current political environment, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will be working with international and local non-governmental organizations and community groups to help provide basic services, while directing its primary effort toward the strengthening of Liberia's civil society in order to build self-reliance and foster civic education and human rights.


Primary Health Care Through Civil Society: USAID/Liberia's Primary Health Care Program includes: training of health care professionals and community health care workers, including traditional births attendants, to improve the quality of service delivery and facilitate the establishment of community health and development committees, women's groups and youth clubs for the prevention and control of prevalent diseases including HIV/AIDS; technical assistance in service provision and the establishment of a system for monitoring and evaluation; and provision of primary health care services delivery. Mothers and children under five are the key beneficiaries of USAID/Liberia's Primary Health Care Program.

Increase Food Security In Targeted Areas: USAID's program to increase food security includes assistance in three main areas: the multiplication and distribution of improved food and cash crop varieties; food post-harvest loss prevention-storage, processing, preservation and marketing; and assistance in re-stocking of small ruminants.

Increase Role of Civil Society: USAID's program is designed to foster political reconciliation, support the international donor community in efforts to foster free and fair elections, and strengthen community organizations to increase civic action and promote democratic governance.


Economic Support Fund (ESF): Congress established the ESF to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. In Liberia, ESF funding is being used to provide assistance for independent radio and to strengthen political parties for the elections scheduled in October 2003.

Public Law 480 Title II (PL 480): Nearly 800 million in the world are food insecure, and many live in sub-Saharan Africa. Chronic poverty, the persistent lack of economic opportunity either to produce adequate amounts of food or to exchange labor for income needed to purchase food in adequate amounts, is the chief cause of food insecurity. The Office of Food for Peace, through funding provided by PL 480, makes commodity donations to cooperating sponsors to address the needs of food security through both 5-year development projects and emergency food assistance. In Liberia, USAID provides emergency food aid contributions.

Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF): USAID supports a grants program which provides assistance to indigenous organizations that implement short-term, highly targeted country-level activities in support of human rights and democratic institutions. In Liberia, DHRF supports a civic, civil and human rights awareness campaign and an electoral education campaign.

Special Self-Help (SSH) Fund: SSH supports community-based development activities that have an immediate impact. In Liberia, SSH activities are focused on income-generating projects, including agriculture and crafts.

Grants Program: Since 1961 USAID has operated the ocean freight reimbursement program to subsidize registered U.S. private voluntary organizations (PVOs) for their ocean freight transportation costs. Several grants were approved for Blessings International, for the Brother's Brother Foundation, for the Center for Health, Education and Economic Research, for the Community of Caring, for Direct Relief International, for the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help, for the Lutheran World Relief, for the MAP International, for the National Electric Cooperative Association- International Foundation, for the Sabre Foundation, for the Salesian Missions, for the World Emergency Relief to defray part of the transportation costs for selected commodity shipments to Liberia.

Foreign Disaster Assistance: In Liberia USAID provided health assistance and repaired the Phebe hospital, which was damaged during a May 7 attack on the city of Gbanga by LURD. Also, through the UN, assistance was provided for coordination and information.

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