The ICRC in Liberia

19-04-2013 Overview

In Liberia, the ICRC is focusing on detainee welfare, water and sanitation, supporting the Liberian National Red Cross Society, and promoting international humanitarian law. In addition, we are still supporting Ivorians who have fled violence in their own country and the Liberians who are hosting them.

The transition from emergency response to development support

Ever since a peace agreement brought an end to the intense fighting of early 2003, the ICRC has gradually been shifting the focus of its activities in Liberia from conflict response to development support. We scaled down our emergency-related activities still further during 2012, and are now active in the fields of water/sanitation and detainee welfare. In addition, we are helping the Liberian National Red Cross Society build up its capacity to help those most in need.

Our detainee-welfare activities include working with the Liberian authorities to repair water and sanitation infrastructure in prisons. We are also helping with the implementation of new national health guidelines by equipping selected prisons to provide basic health services and by training prison staff.

In cooperation with the Liberian water board, the ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross are improving access to clean water and reducing exposure to water-borne diseases.

Finally, the ICRC is involved in promoting international humanitarian law to UN contingents, the army and the police. The planned establishment of a National Committee for the Implementation of IHL will help to promote and domesticate this body of law.

Helping Ivorian refugees in Liberia

Côte d’Ivoire’s post-election violence in late 2010 pushed thousands of Ivorians into Liberia. Three years on, the ICRC is still facilitating access to clean water for both refugees and host communities.

We are also helping people separated by the 2010 violence in Côte d’Ivoire to re-establish contact with their families. Working with the Liberian and Ivorian Red Cross Societies, the ICRC reunited over 180 children and vulnerable adults with their families between 2011 and early 2013. In most cases, these families were reunited in Côte d’Ivoire.

Staff of the ICRC’s Liberia delegation are visiting people held in Liberia in relation with the post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire.

The ICRC has been working in Liberia since 1970, and we opened our Monrovia delegation in 1990.


A farmer who has benefited from an ICRC/Liberia Red Cross rice production project offers a bunch of paddy to a Liberia Red Cross agronomist. 

Grand Gedeh County, Liberia.
A farmer who has benefited from an ICRC/Liberia Red Cross rice production project offers a bunch of paddy to a Liberia Red Cross agronomist.
© ICRC / P. Yazdi

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