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11.02.2016 | Blog

Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia

The virus had devastating consequences for people in West Africa. We continue our support.

Taking temperatures of people is still an ongoing preventive measure in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
Taking temperatures of people is still an ongoing preventive measure in Sierra Leone and Liberia. © Welthungerhilfe
Kerstin Bandsom Team Communications

More than 28,500 people in West Africa have been infected with the Ebola virus, more than 11,300 have died since its outbreak in March 2014 (UN). The highly-infectious disease brought devastation to Liberia and Sierra Leone. We have been supporting the people there since the outbreak of the biggest Ebola epidemic in history through prevention and education, food security and social reintegration programmes. The worst of the outbreak seems to be over, but our work is not yet done: We continue to support people on the long road to recovery. 

What is Ebola?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a severe, often fatal illness. It spreads through human-to-human transmission via direct contact with bodily fluids and with surfaces and materials contaminated with these fluids.

The Ebola crisis is not yet over

Tens of thousands have needed medical care and health provision. The disease also inflicted huge damage on the economies of both countries: seeds and food became scarce, food prices high. Travel restrictions by the governments disrupted the supply of goods and the economy as a whole, especially in rural areas. The prices for basic goods like rice and oil rose up to 40% in Liberia. 

The epidemic gradually declined over the course of 2015. However, Sierra Leone reported a new case on 15th January, just one day after the World Health Organization had declared West Africa as Ebola-free. The crisis is not yet over – learn how Welthungerhilfe is supporting people in need.

How we have helped in Sierra Leone and Liberia:

Following the Ebola outbreak in 2014, our teams in Liberia and Sierra Leone have been supporting communities through different activities. Some examples are:

1. Schools, education and health:

Facts and figures

December 2013: first Ebola cases in Guinea

By March 2014: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal also affected

Over 28,500 people infected, over 11,300 killed
(last updated: January 2016)

14th January 2016: WHO declared West Africa free of Ebola

15th January 2016: new case reported in Sierra Leone

2. Social reintegration of families with Ebola victims or survivors:

3. Prevention and community involvement

The non-medical impacts of the ebola crisis in Sierra Leone

Among the countries affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been hit hardest.

4. Nutrition and food security 

Ebola education in rural communities in Liberia
Ebola education in rural communities in Liberia
Case Study: Ebola in Sierra Leone 2014 Study: Impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease
read more

On the road to recovery – our ongoing support in West Africa

The worst of the Ebola outbreak may be over, but the affected countries will still need some time and support to recover. In 2016, our teams are working on post-Ebola programmes, offering support to vulnerable people rebuilding their livelihoods and improving health care facilities in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Sierra Leone: We continue to support projects that help people recover from the crisis, especially with a focus on community development, capacity building of District Councils and integration of Ebola survivors.

Cover: Rapid Food and Livelihoods Security Assessment Study: The impact of Ebola in Liberia

In Liberia, the first epidemic began on 22 March and ended in April, 2014 and mainly affected two counties

Liberia: Support to the Liberian Government in its post-Ebola recovery efforts for the years ahead include two projects.

  1. Building resilient health environments in four specific regions of Liberia but also Sierra Leone, which were severely affected by Ebola (funded by BMZ, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development)
  2. Building on KfW’s Reintegration and Recovery Programme with a specific Ebola support Programme in the Southeast of Liberia
Last Update 06.02.2018

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