Agriculture and Food Security
We are focused on unlocking Liberia’s potential to feed itself and move beyond subsistence farming. We are doing so through a market-led approach to agricultural development that is part of President Obama’s Feed the Future Initiative. Our programs help farmers learn improved farming methods and provide them high yielding seeds, post-harvest processing facilities, loans and access to export markets. Since 2011, we have reached close to 100,000 farmers, many of them women and youth, who have posted huge increases in the production and sales of important staples like rice and cassava.
Economic Growth and Trade
We seek to spur broad-based sustained market driven economic growth by helping provide Liberian farmers and businesses the tools—infrastructure, energy, workforce development--necessary to succeed in an increasingly competitive and globalized world. Our investments in farm-to-market roads give farmers access to markets and significantly reduce the time and expense associated with rural travel. Similarly, our investments in rural renewable energy projects foster economic growth by reducing the cost of energy and creating new opportunities for businesses to grow and provide a range of products and services they could not provide without electricity and refrigeration. Our infrastructure and energy projects are also critical to our efforts to develop Liberia’s workforce capacity, including our investments in education and health.
Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance
We work with the Government to develop the institutions and practices, including accountable, inclusive, transparent, and democratic governance, that are necessary prerequisites for stability. Since 2005, we have helped Liberia hold three national elections. At the height of the Ebola crisis, we provided critical support to the National Elections Commission that helped ensure the successful conclusion of the 2014 senatorial elections. Additionally, we support civil society groups and media institutions whose work is indispensable to promoting transparency and citizens’ participation in government. Our law and justice programs also help to build the capacity of the judicial system.
Our investments in education have been focused on developing the institutions and human capacity necessary for Liberia to develop and maintain a first rate school system. Since 2011, we have helped train thousands of Liberian teachers and provided scholarships for many more to pursue advanced degrees outside Liberia in education and school administration. Our education programs also emphasize early grade reading and math to provide young Liberians with the literacy and numeracy skills crucial to their future academic success. We further work to provide out of school youth with much needed jobs skills through work readiness programs and alternative basic education training.
Long before the EVD outbreak hit Liberia in 2014, we have worked with our Liberian partners to strengthen the country’s healthcare system and workforce capacity so that Liberia can provide basic routine health services for all its people and capably respond to future health crises and shocks. The EVD outbreak devastated the country’s already weak healthcare delivery system, affecting particularly the provision of primary care. There were, for example, sharp declines in childhood immunizations and births assisted by trained birth attendants. We therefore continue to partner with the Ministry of Health to support primary healthcare facilities around the country and ensure access to public healthcare services for all Liberians. We are doing so by, among other things, working to expand community-based health services and promoting the use of skilled birth attendance services. Restoring confidence in the healthcare delivery system remains a critical concern.
Last updated: December 11, 2015