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CRS in Guinea

The small coastal nation of Guinea remains one of the world’s poorest despite its abundant natural resources and rich culture and history. Bordering six other West African nations, Guinea’s cross border trade of goods such as rice, maize and cassava has made it a regional trade hub, however poor governance and corruption have hindered progress since the country became independent in 1958.

In 2010, the first democratically elected president took office and, after five years, the country is still plagued by civil unrest and epidemics. Low levels of education, poor infrastructure and high levels of poverty have been exacerbated by outbreaks of disease in recent times. Although media attention is focused on the current Ebola epidemic, malaria, measles, meningitis and cholera are in fact still claiming more lives than the Ebola virus combined. Together with the unstable political situation, these factors threaten to hinder the country’s ability to meet its population’s basic needs into the future.


People served: 6,530,943

Population: 11,780,162 (July 2015 est.)

Size: 94,926 sq. mi.; slightly smaller than Oregon

CRS' History in Guinea

In the year 2000, CRS responded to the call of Guinean bishops to ease the suffering of tens of thousands of refugees from warring Liberia and Sierra Leone and began outreach activities from Sierra Leone into Guinea.  CRS opened a country office in 2001 and became a country program in 2003. Until 2006, CRS worked on large-scale distribution of food and other goods to refugees and displaced people. Since 2007, CRS has significantly supported national development efforts in health, community-level conflict prevention and resolution, governance, education, water and sanitation, and peacebuilding. With the outbreak of the Ebola virus in 2014, CRS has been one of the leading agencies in the effort to fight the virus in Guinea, working on both health and food security programming.