On August 18, 2013, Liberia commemorated the ten year anniversary of the signing of the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The transition from war to peace has brought about substantial progress. Two successive democratic elections have been held, the country’s burgeoning postwar economy is growing at a slow but steady six percent, and the reform of the security sector is near completion. However, Liberia remains a highly fragile democracy.
Government corruption is rampant. The community land protection and management scheme is opaque and fraught with complications. A delayed reconciliation is causing mistrust between citizens and governing political elites. Even though non-governmental organizations remain a critical third party, their efforts and plans are undermined by weak institutional structures and leadership. The recent Ebola outbreak has pushed Liberia’s postwar challenges further to the brink of collapse. Due to the public health emergency imposed by the outbreak, normal operations of government have grounded to a halt and all NGO activities are similarly on hold. In the private sector, there is a rapid decline in economic activities, pushing the economy towards recession.
Before the Ebola outbreak, our core work had been strengthening NGOs to adequately monitor government performance. We have teamed up with ten other organizations and community based partners, with huge networks across the country, implementing a new and innovative cooperation model at the national and local level.
We are working with local communities and partners to address Liberia’s post-war governance challenges and the recent outbreak of Ebola. In July, we played a lead role in coordinating the efforts of over 35 organizations, based in Monrovia and the outlying counties, forming the Civil Society Ebola Response Task Force.
At the national level, we are a member of the Ebola Communication Committee, responsible for spreading news and reports on the epidemic. Other committee members include the American Centers for Disease Control, Medecins Sans Frontieres, UNICEF, and the Ministry of Health.