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Often amid adverse conditions, WFP assists hundreds of thousands of Liberians including returning refugees, displaced people, the malnourished and people living with HIV/AIDS. Photo: WFP/Fidel Mazobe
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Summary Text: 

WFP provides assistance in Liberia through a countrywide Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation in all 15 counties, a school feeding programme in 12 counties and school gardens, a Purchase for Progress (P4P) local food procurement pilot project, and an emergency operation (EMOP) assisting Ivorian refugees and vulnerable host populations in eastern Liberia. WFP’s recovery and development programmes, including the P4P pilot, aim to support Liberia’s social and economic recovery and improve food security. The EMOP aims to address the food and nutritional needs of refugees and host populations affected by the Côte d’Ivoire refugee crisis. WFP works in Liberia's 15 counties through sub-offices in Gbarnga and Zwedru and field offices in Saclepea and Harper. WFP has been present in Liberia since 1968.

2013 marks the beginning of the implementation of WFP’s country programme (2013 – 2017). Developed in close coordination with the Government of Liberia and their vision of a ‘Hunger Free Liberia’ WFP’s country programme integrates a safety net approach across it’s different components to i) strengthen social safety nets ii) promote productive safety nets and sustainable livelihoods and iii) strengthen capacity development for sustainable handover of safety net programmes to the government.


Body Text: 


Endowed with vast and varied natural resources, a large biodiversity, lush vegetation and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia has enormous potential in mining and ecotourism, as well as food and cash crop production. But decades of economic plunder and social disinvestments, amplified by two civil wars, eroded human capital, laid waste to social infrastructure and ravaged productive assets.

War ended in August 2003 with the signing of a Comprehensive Peace Agreement, followed by deployment of a 15,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, UNMIL. Under the aegis of UNMIL and the broader international community, general and presidential elections were held late 2005. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President and Liberia returned to democratic rule. The country now enjoys relative political stability and improved security due to the government’s efforts and international political, financial and military support which have strengthened civil authority throughout the country and enabled a gradual recovery of the economy.

However, the social, economic, infrastructural, and human costs of the civil war still linger more than half a decade after the war’s end. The country remains one of the poorest in the world, ranked among the bottom five countries (176 out of 179) on the 2008 UNDP Human Development Index. Per capita GDP was US$132 in 2008 (IMF Country Report No. 08/108, March 2008), and 64 percent of Liberia’s 3.5 million people live below the poverty line (Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire, 2007).

The government launched a three-year Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS) in June 2008 aimed to expand peace and security, revitalize the economy, strengthen governance and the rule of law, rehabilitate infrastructure and deliver basic social services. The government and international partners are investing tremendous efforts and resources to achieve the aims of the PRS, considered critical in setting Liberia on an irreversible course toward recovery and development.

WFP Activities

WFP is working to connect farmers in Liberia to markets through the Purchase for Progress initiative. Learn more

WFP uses food support to build the human capital of communities through school meals and to rebuild the livelihoods of rural families by helping smallholder farmers to rehabilitate agricultural assets with a focus on rice production. A 2008 external evaluation of WFP activities found that school meals was an important factor in revitalizing the education system in rural areas and encouraging the return and resettlement of displaced populations.

WFP also provides food assistance to protect the nutritional and health status of mothers and children at risk of malnutrition, TB patients and People Living with HIV.

Under the new protracted relief and recovery operation (PRRO) due to start in September 2009, WFP activities will include lean season safety net distributions to mitigate the impact of high food prices on vulnerable rural households in the most food insecure counties during the hunger period between harvests.

WFP is strengthening the capacities of government and communities for their increased ownership and participation in the management of WFP programmes through the school meals and food security and nutrition monitoring programmes.

WFP is helping to provide small-scale farmers access to reliable markets at fair price, while improving the capacity of farmer cooperatives in agro-processing and marketing, and in the development of procurement processes. This effort to strengthen the institutional, productive and competitive potentials of farmers and connect them to markets is being implemented through the Purchase for Progress initiative.

Threats to Food Security: 
  • Low infrastructures
  • Disrupted agricultural systems
  • High unemployment rate
  • Poor sanitation and water quality 
legacy ID: 
Facts and Figures
Tropical – hot and humid; dry winters; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers; rainy season between April and November
Mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Food production: 
Rice, root crops, fruits and vegetables. Population relies heavily on river and forest products such as ‘bush meat’ for survival.
Annual harvest: 
September - November
Agricultural production (% of GDP): 
Human Development Index: 
not available
Children under weight for age (% of children under 5): 
Population undernourished (% of total pop.): 
Global hunger index - label: 
Global hunger index - value: 
infant mortality rate per 1000 live birth - 2005 UNDP : 
Crisis Active: 
Active Crisis
Crisis Title: 
Ebola Emergency
Crisis Info: 

WFP is scaling up its response to the Ebola virus to provide assistance to around 1 million people affected by the outbreak in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, delivering food alongside the health response. WFP is also assisting the wider humanitarian community with logistics, helping other organisations to get aid workers and critical supplies into the affected areas. Read More