A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
Liberia’s economic and social service infrastructure has largely been destroyed by war and conflict. Oxfam’s focus in Liberia is on livelihoods, education and public health and includes cross cutting work on gender and protection, sexual exploitation and the right to be heard.
Most Liberians have no electricity and have little access to safe water, sanitation and acceptable housing. It is estimated that only 25% of the population have access to safe drinking water and even less have access to basic sanitation.
Due to mass rural to urban migration movements and large numbers of returnees (people returning after having fled the conflict), the country faces extreme housing and shelter shortages with poor infrastructure to support them. Although Liberia’s economy now appears to be improving it is still struggling to rebuild to the pre-conflict level.
Oxfam in Liberia
We began working in Liberia in 1995, delivering both emergency humanitarian assistance and long-term development projects. In 2006, we shifted away from humanitarian assistance, to focus working in partnership with NGOs, government, communities and community-based organizations to build a long term country strategy.
We work with partners to distribute seeds and planting materials. We focus on increasing employment opportunities for poor men and women by creating sustainable food production, while also addressing gender inequality.
Oxfam campaigns on the right to free and quality education for all within safe, gender friendly schools. We campaign for equitable learning opportunities and for the promotion of HIV and AIDS awareness in schools.
Oxfam is the lead agency of the International Non-Governmental Organization (INGO) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene promotion (WASH) Consortium in Liberia. We have been progressively shifting away from operational activities, such as building latrines and wells, to focus on enhancing the ability of Liberia’s government to manage its public health systems and promote hygiene awareness at local and national level.