In West Point, Monrovia, an efficient information work was performed during the Ebola epidemic that led to increased knowledge about the virus and contributed to the spread of infection decreased.
Photo: Marco Nilson
Our work in Liberia
Development of the agricultural sector, private sector and trade will improve the situation in Liberia’s rural areas, since the economic development will benefit the poor. In this area, Sida supports a major market development project that will facilitate for small-scale farmers to access markets and become part of the value and supply chains. The project takes the perspective of poor people and aims to create opportunities for market development that contributes to poverty reduction.
The civil war in Liberia ended in 2003. Since then, a large share of development work has been based on rebuilding the infrastructure. Sida has provided support to the reconstruction work, mostly through the UN and the civil society. Many small projects have brought concrete results.
Roads to markets have improved, new markets have been established and bridges have been rebuilt. Thousands of children have been given new educational opportunities in 69 new schools. Local government officials have been trained in their democratic responsibilities. These are important steps in recreating services in rural areas.
One of the biggest challenges in Liberia today is the country’s very poor infrastructure. By supporting the World Bank's infrastructure fund, and through cooperation with Hifab, Sida supports the expansion and refurbishment of the national road network. Due to the extensive rains that fall in Liberia six months a year, the roads in many parts of the country are inaccessible and in very poor condition. This hampers the development of rural areas. Sida's support to the road infrastructure sector has been very successful and is a prerequisite for rural development in Liberia.
Women highly vulnerable
Sexual and gender-based violence is one of the most common crimes in Liberia, and women and children are most affected. Sweden therefor prioritizes efforts against gender-based violence, in cooperation with the government of Liberia and seven UN agencies. Since 2010, Sweden has contributed 50 million dollars to support these efforts. The programme provides support to survivors, for instance by offering customized medical care, therapy and women’s shelters. A large part of the programme deals with prevention work to reduce the prevalence of gender-based violence, which is e.g. carried out through support to the Liberian police and courts, and through public information campaigns.
The power is by tradition held by a small minority in Liberia. All the power remains in the cities and the rural areas are underdeveloped. The lack of popular participation and economic injustices are creating problems.
In our cooperation strategy, we are supporting democratic development and human rights. The power must be divided between more groups and become decentralized, and democratic structures need to be built. A transparent, effective and accountable legal and judicial sector built upon democratic principles is a central part of Liberia's road to peace, security and development. Sweden supports the development of the judicial sector in several ways, including through a fund established by the UN’s Development Programme as well as through bilateral cooperation between the Swedish police and the forensic unit of the Liberian National Police.
The majority of the country’s population provide for themselves through farming and fishing. Agriculture should be improved to provide higher returns. Investments in vocational training and adult education aim to increase trade both within the country and internationally, with the purpose of improving the ability of poor people to increase their incomes.
Coordinating donor contributions
A stable Liberia is a fundamental condition for the country to be able to write off its debts from The World Bank and theInternational Monetary Fund. Our contributions must therefore aim to strengthen peace and democracy.
Our development assistance to Liberia is to the greatest extent possible implemented through the government of Liberia, through joint donor funds for development cooperation, as well as through international organisations. The government has developed a long-term strategy called Vision 2030, with the goal of Liberia being a middle-income country in 2030, and a new poverty strategy Agenda for Transformation (AfT), which is a large reform package that runs over a five-year period.
Within the forum of the established international dialogue on peace and state-building, an initiative on special support to fragile and conflict-affected states was launched in 2011. The framework that was developed is called the New Deal and aims to link political and economic development, based on a clear national ownership. The New Deal will be implemented in a number of so-called pilot countries, including Liberia. Sweden is together with USA a partner to Liberia within the New Deal, which includes a common focus on peace-building and state-building, in order to strengthen the country's progress towards lasting peace. Sweden's strong commitment to the New Deal has created space for a strengthened dialogue with Liberia. In cooperation with the USA, this has led to the development of a draft of a new structure for coordination of the development agenda.