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UNICEF Liberia

Nearly 300,000 refugees and internally displaced persons have returned to their homes in 2005 after the end of a brutal 14-year civil war.

Peaceful national elections have been held, but the re-establishment of state authority and law and order has only just begun.

The state of social services country-wide is still far below pre-war levels. More than one third of the population, and an even higher proportion of the country’s children, lives on less than $1 a day.

Issues facing children in Liberia

  • Liberia’s infant and under-5 mortality rates remain among the five highest in the world. More than 15 per cent of children die before reaching their first birthday.
  • Preventable diseases like malaria and measles are among the leading killers of children. Malnutrition and respiratory infections kill thousands of children each year.
  • Nearly 40 per cent of children under age five suffer from stunting as a result of malnutrition.
  • Nearly 40 per cent of the population does not have access to safe water, and nearly 75 per cent does not have access to adequate sanitation.
  • Statistics show an HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 5.9 per cent; the actual rate is believed to be higher.
  • Armed conflict, HIV/AIDS and other diseases have orphaned an estimated 230,000 children.
  • Half a million children do not attend school. Two thirds of students are being taught by unqualified teachers. Girls’ enrolment rates lag far behind those for boys.
  • Despite the cessation of fighting, armed forces along the borders with Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire continue to recruit children into their ranks.

Activities and results for children

  • UNICEF and its partners continue to provide basic and emergency health care to thousands of people living in camps for internally displaced populations.
  • Approximately 1 million children were vaccinated against polio and received vitamin A supplements. A total of 185 health facilities now perform routine immunizations. UNICEF also helped to rehabilitate the national cold-chain system.
  • UNICEF and its partners reactivated 27 health clinics and launched a measles vaccination program for all children under age five in three counties.
  • The World Food Programme partnered with UNICEF to treat more than 100,000 malnourished women and children in IDP camps.
  • Clean water and improved sanitation facilities benefited more than 200,000 students in over 1,000 schools.
  • UNICEF and its partners provided educational kits for more than 1,000 schools and supplies for nearly 350,000 children. Nearly 1,000 teachers (including 600 women) completed their primary school teacher training.
  • The National Assembly adopted a comprehensive girls’ education policy.
  • Nearly 12,000 children have been demobilized from fighting forces.
  • UNICEF and its partners have helped to train more than 1,500 new Liberian National Police officers in child rights and child protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related links

Day of the African Child 2013

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