International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC in Liberia

A doctor assists Ivorian refugees at a clinic along the Liberian-Ivorian border
Photo: Peter Biro/The IRC

Liberians are cautiously rebuilding their country after a devastating 14-year civil war left 250,000 dead and destroyed infrastructure and basic services. In addition to helping hundreds of thousands of displaced Liberian families, the IRC also protected refugees fleeing violence in nearby Ivory Coast and continues to provide them with health care, education, job training and other important resources as their country negotiates the difficult road to peace.

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How We Help

Emergency response in Liberia

  • The IRC is partnering with health officials in Liberia to stem an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Read more below.

The IRC's Ongoing Work

  • The IRC supports 42 health care facilities and three hospitals, providing services to over 740,000 people.
  • The IRC trains local health workers, conducts health outreach and provides reproductive health services, including family planning, to women and girls.
  • The IRC provides counseling to survivors of sexual and physical violence and works with local communities to improve the safety of women and girls. 
  • The IRC links at-risk girls with employment opportunities, entrepreneurship training and life-skills training, and provides mentorship programs for girls between the ages of 12 and 15.
  • The IRC is training more than 1,000 families on positive parenting techniques to reduce violence in the home and encourage healthy child development.
August 28, 2014 | Blog
The IRC is at Ebola’s frontline in Liberia, and Emmanuel Boyah, IRC's primary health manager, is leading the response to the deadly outbreak in Lofa County. He says “We are trying to fight for the survival of our people. Ebola is very dangerous, but we have to fight.”

EBOLA CRISIS IN WEST AFRICA

As an Ebola outbreak surges through West Africa, IRC staff and community health workers in Liberia are actively working to educate communities on how to stop the spread of the virus.

  • The IRC has been working to curb the Ebola outbreak since March 2014. We provided medical and logistical staff to district health teams responding to the virus in Lofa County. 
  • The IRC distributed gloves, gowns, goggles and other protective equipment to health facilities and trained health workers and traditional healers in Ebola prevention.
  • The IRC provided fuel for ambulances to transport suspected and confirmed cases to the county Ebola treatment unit, as well as fuel for the teams responsible for safely burying those that have died. 

What is Ebola?

If contracted, Ebola is one of the world’s most deadly diseases. Previous outbreaks of Ebola have had a 50 - 90 percent fatality rate, according to the World Health Organization.

Ebola passes from human to human via contact with bodily fluids. Since it’s not airborne, the virus can be killed with soap and water. However, it does spread quickly from person to person if precautions are not taken. The most important way to stem the spread is to ensure anyone who develops symptoms immediately gets treatment and isolation at a medical facility.