Liberia's Recovery From Devastation

Autocratic rule, coups and finally civil war in the 1990s took a devastating toll on Liberia. More than 250,000 Liberians lost their lives in the civil wars. Average income fell to one-eighth what it was in 1980, making Liberia one of the poorest countries in the world. Infrastructure was totally destroyed, and families and communities were torn apart. Warlords used the country to smuggle diamonds and traffic in arms and drugs, bringing chaos to the country and destabilizing all of West Africa.

The country has made significant progress during President Sirleaf's first year in office. It established a cash management committee to check every expenditure and increased government revenues by 48% by cutting down on corruption and increasing tax compliance. As a result it was able to balance its budget in 4 months. Working with its international partners, the government has turned on electricity and piped water to parts of the capitol city, started to rebuild roads and bridges, increased primary school enrollments by 40%, and reached 97% of children under five with a measles vaccine.

More about Liberia's recovery

  • In January 2007 the government published its Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy (IPRSP [pdf]), the most comprehensive statement of its strategy for reconstruction, revitalization the economy, rebuilding the nation’s institutions, and establishing the foundation for long-term development.
  • The First 150 Day Action Plan (pdf)
  • Spread the Net Initiative