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CRS in Liberia

Liberia has maintained a fragile peace since the end of the civil war in 2003. With the re-election of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (Africa’s first woman president) for a second term, there is hope that peace will last and development will continue, and that the country will be able to recover from nearly two decades of war. 

In February 2014, Liberia had an Ebola virus outbreak. CRS Liberia partnered with the National Catholic Health Council and responded to the outbreak by providing 13 Catholic health facilities with personal protective equipment and bleach. In addition, Ebola and infection control materials were distributed to health facilities, schools and parishes.

Through the support of CRS and the International Confederation of the Red Cross, St Joseph’s Catholic Hospital has reopened, albeit at a reduced bed capacity and staff. Through its partnership with CRS, the hospital now boasts one of the most advanced triage systems and isolation wards in Liberia.


People served: 161,004 (FY 2014: 1,178 direct; 159,826 indirect)

Population: 4,092,310 (2014 est.)

Size: 42,999 sq. mi.; slightly larger than Tennessee

CRS' History in Liberia

CRS activities in Liberia began in 1990, initially providing emergency assistance after the start of the civil war. During the civil war, CRS provided food aid and other relief, and was one of the few NGOs that stayed in the country for most of the war. Many Liberians still know and respect CRS for their projects during the war. 

While the presidential election of 1997 brought Charles Taylor to power, the civil conflict continued in outlying counties and eventually arrived in the capital, Monrovia, during the summer of 2003. Charles Taylor went into exile that August, and a transitional government was put into place in October. Soon after, warring factions laid down their arms after 14 years of conflict. 

CRS assistance shifted to agriculture/food security, HIV/AIDS and justice and peace programs support after the end of the civil war in 2004.  The CRS Liberia Country Program shifted to a much smaller program with greatly reduced resources and staff in 2013.

There are 15 counties in Liberia, governed by superintendents appointed by the President, and a popularly elected Senate and House of Representatives.  

The Catholic Church, CRS Liberia and international donor agencies continue to work on emergency programming and have begun implementing development projects.