After enduring two civil wars in the past 30 years, the people of Liberia are trying to rebuild their lives. Approximately 80 percent of the population lives in poverty, and disease is rampant. ChildFund has been working in Liberia since 2003 to provide aid, relief and support to children and their families.
The people of Liberia face many hardships. The country's infant mortality rate is among the 20 highest in the world, and it is listed as one of the bottom 10 countries on the United Nations' Human Development Index, which measures life expectancy, education and income. Also, Liberia has the world's third-highest unemployment rate.
Malaria is a serious problem in Liberia, and many children are at risk of contracting this potentially deadly yet preventable illness. However, thanks to the support of our donors, ChildFund has been able to distribute chemically treated mosquito netting to each household in more than 1,430 communities across Liberia. As the average household size is five people, around 477,140 people benefited from this initiative.
Liberia was ravaged by two civil wars, the first raging from 1989 until 1996 and the second taking place from 1999 to 2003. During these bloody conflicts, more than 200,000 people lost their lives, and the country is still struggling to recover.
Children were once forced to fight in these wars, but today, ChildFund is offering them the chance to lead fulfilling lives. Our Community Education and Investment Project aims to help former child soldiers displaced at the end of the fighting to enroll in primary schools. In addition, we have helped build new schools and supplied more than 75,000 books to 110 schools across the country.
As well as investing in the education of vulnerable children, ChildFund is also working to empower people in Liberian communities to rebuild their lives. To date, we have built early childhood development centers, women's centers, community-based health care facilities and markets to enable Liberians to regain control of their lives and work toward a brighter future.
If you want to help ChildFund continue to help Liberia's poorest communities, please consider purchasing a gift from our Gifts of Love & Hope catalog. For just $11, you can help us provide a chemically treated mosquito net to vulnerable children at risk of malaria. Or for $50, you can help us bring much-needed deworming medicine to a child in Liberia suffering from intestinal parasites, stomach worms that rob children of the nutrients they need to grow.