The Republic of Liberia in West Africa was
founded in 1847 by freed American slaves. They created a
state that in much imitated the United States and where
they and their descendants came to constitute an upper
class that until 1980 had a monopoly on political power.
Since then, brutal coups and civil war have ruined the
country and destroyed the economy. Since a few years
into the 2000s, laborious reconstruction work has been
ongoing after the war, but the development is slow and
the situation is aggravated by widespread corruption.
Brief profiles of Liberia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
Liberia in West Africa borders on the
northwest to Sierra Leone, on the north to Guinea and on
the east to the Ivory Coast. To the west, the country
has an approximately 57-mile-long coastline along the
Atlantic, but strong waves, sharp cliffs and lagoons
make much of the shoreline inaccessible, except at a few
beaches and natural harbors.
Inside the coast is a narrow and sandy plain, which
turns into a hilly upland area. In the north, mountain
ranges rise with peaks of more than 1,400 meters, and
between them several stray rivers cut down through the
Significant parts of Liberia are covered by tropical
rainforests, which are, however, in the process of
transitioning into savanna due to hard logging.
The climate is tropical with a constant daytime
temperature of about 26 degrees on the coast but with
considerably greater variations inland - from 9 to 44
The rainy season falls in most of the country during
May-October. At the coastal plain it rains up to 5,000
mm per year, but only about half as much inland. During
December - February, the desert wind blows the Harmattan
in from the Sahara.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
96 320 km2 (2018)
Swedish - 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Sierra Leone, Guinea, Ivory Coast
Capital with number of inhabitants
Monrovia 1.3 million inhabitants (estimate 2015)
Other major cities
Buchanan, Gbarnga, Sweden
Mount Wuteve (1440 m asl)
Cavally, St. Paul
Average Precipitation / month
Monrovia 996 mm (July), 30 mm (Jan)
Average / day
Monrovia 27 °C (March), 25 °C (July)
Elections to the Senate
In the middle of the month, the Supreme Court decides
that the Senate election can be held as scheduled in
December. This is a response to a call from a group of
former government officials and representatives of
political parties who have wanted the election postponed
until the Ebola epidemic is under control.
The election, which applies to 15 of the Senate's 30
seats, will be held on December 20, but turnout is low.
Among the 139 candidates are former footballer and
presidential candidate George Weah who is competing with
President Sons Robert Sirleaf for a place. However, it
will be an easy win for Weah who gets 78 percent of the
vote, while Sirleaf only gets 11 percent.
The World Bank estimates that economic growth that
was almost six percent before the crisis will fall to
three percent in 2015.
Labor market problems
According to data from the World Bank , the epidemic
has had serious consequences for the labor market.
Nearly half of those who previously worked are no longer
doing so. Some of them have lost their jobs, while
others have been urged to stay home, while the markets
have been forced to strike again.
The state of emergency is canceled
President Johnson Sirleaf cancels the state of
emergency introduced to fight the Ebola epidemic. She
emphasizes that this does not mean that "the fight is
over". A few days earlier, the president is relocating
to the government and replacing the Minister of Health,
among other things.
A crisis fund is created
The initiative is behind several leading African
businessmen and the aim is to fight Ebola in West
Africa. The promoters aim to raise over $ 28 million.
Chinese military builds new healthcare facilities.
Justice Minister Christiana Tah will resign on
As a reason, she states, among other things, that the
work to fight corruption goes so slowly.
At the end of the month, for the first time in
months, beds are available at health care facilities.
However, a WHO spokesman stressed that the danger was
not yet over. Until October 8, according to WHO figures,
Ebola has claimed over 3,800 lives in Liberia. Nearly
9,000 people have been infected with the disease.
More than 4,000 Liberians have been infected by
According to WHO statistics up to the end of
September, almost 4,100 people have been infected by
Ebola in Liberia, of which 2,316 have died in the
disease. Probably even more people have been affected.
Many also die in other diseases because they cannot
receive care or manage to go to health care facilities.
The UN Children's Fund Unicef estimates that around
3,700 children have become orphans as a result of the
In the second half of October, new medical equipment
begins to arrive in the country. The United Nations Food
Program is also beginning to assist people in Guinea,
Sierra Leone and Liberia with supplies. However, the UN
has only received $ 250 million of the billion dollars
it said is needed to fight the disease. Only a small
portion of the 3,000 soldiers promised by the United
States arrived in mid-October.
At the same time, work is underway to obtain a
vaccine, based on antibodies in the blood of those who
survived Ebola. At best, one of these can be done in
Senate elections are postponed
At the beginning of the month, the president
announces that the election to the Senate, which would
have been held on October 14, is postponed. The Election
Commission says in a press release that it recommended
this because there are no conditions for the election to
be carried out correctly.
US aid is promised
On September 16, the United States announces a
support package and promises to send 3,000 soldiers to
the region to build new health care facilities. These
include 17 clinics in Liberia with room for 100
patients, training of healthcare personnel and ensuring
that equipment and other supplies can be flown in more
Ministers are allowed to go
President Johnson Sirleaf dismisses ten government
officials who, despite warnings (see August 2014), have
not returned to their home country. These include two
commissioners and eight assistant or deputy ministers.
Several other lower-level ministers are being warned,
and the president says no wages will be paid out before
Ebola creates financial problems
Reports come of rapidly rising food prices, but the
epidemic is affecting the entire economy and, according
to government forecasts, GDP growth looks to be more
than halved. In 2014, government revenue is projected to
fall by between 16 and 20 percent due to the epidemic.
Insufficient care services
At the same time, representatives of the aid
organization Doctors Without Borders say that their
treatment center, which seats 160 patients, is not
enough and that they are forced to send home sick
patients, which leads to more people being infected.
The epidemic began in Guinea, but Liberia is now the
country that is hit hardest and the infection spreads
rapidly. According to WHO figures, nearly 1,100 people
have died in the disease in Liberia until early
After criticizing the Western countries for not doing
enough to help fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa,
France sends 20 experts on emergency medicine to Guinea.
They are to have their base in Guinea, but the work
applies to several of the affected countries and the
measures must be coordinated with local authorities. The
US, EU and UK also promise new support.
Healthcare personnel strike in Monrovia
They object to the working conditions and to the fact
that they have not received their wages. The Liberian
government has offered a $ 1,000 bonus to healthcare
professionals willing to work with Ebola patients. At
least 120 care workers have died in West Africa since
the outbreak of the epidemic.
Unrest in slums
Media reports in the middle of the month that
residents of the West Point area have attacked a clinic
where people suspected of being infected by Ebola are
quarantined. The 17 people who are there for
investigation leave the center. According to Health
Minister Walter Gwenigale, locals have worried that
infected people from other parts of the city have also
been taken to the clinic. After that, the West Point
area (with about 50,000 to 100,000 inhabitants) and
another residential area is quarantined. The authorities
also decide to impose a nightly curfew in these slums.
This raises protests and at least four people are
injured when residents clash with security forces.
The quarantine of West Point will be lifted at the
end of the month, according to media reports since
residents agreed to health checks and received education
President Johnson Sirleaf warns several government
officials who are abroad without valid reasons that they
risk losing their jobs if they do not return to their
home country to participate in the fight against Ebola.
Nothing is said then about how many people it is about.
Nearly 700 people are believed to have died of Ebola
in Liberia by the end of August and about twice as many
have been infected.
President Johnson Sirleaf announces state of
Together with Guinea and Sierra Leone, Liberia
decides to block out areas where the infection is
particularly widespread. The military and police are to
guard the barricades. The treatment units that are
inside the blocked off areas will have increased
The main roads through the capital are blocked by
upset residents who demand that the authorities pick up
those who have died in Ebola. The authorities have urged
residents to avoid touching deceased or sick people and
the corpse is left on the streets and inside houses.
Especially in the beginning, it seems difficult to reach
out with the information, as many Liberians do not seem
to believe that the disease exists.
The World Bank deposits up to US $ 200 million to
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the fight against
Measures to prevent the spread of infection
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a
crisis meeting in Ghana for the countries in the region
to agree on measures against Ebola. In a speech to the
nation, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf tries to inform
the Liberians of the symptoms of the disease and what to
do to prevent the spread of the infection. She also says
that anyone who tries to hide that someone has been
infected risks prosecution.
Later in the month, Liberia, with a few exceptions,
closes its borders to the outside world for fear of
spreading the infection. The country's schools are also
closed and the public employees who can be laid off are
sent home on a month's leave.
At the end of the month, more than 150 people are
reported to have died in Ebola since the outbreak of the
Ebolasmitta reaches Liberia
Up to the end of June, at least 24 people have died
of the infectious disease. Neighboring countries Guinea
and Sierra Leone have also been affected.
New corruption criticism
A report from the US aid agency Usaid is leaked to
media. According to it, corruption in the country is
deeply rooted and exists at all levels. For example,
more than 4,000 schools must have been registered
without being present, with several thousand so-called
ghost workers being paid wages even though they do not
New media tours
Radio profile Henry Costa challenges President's
adoptive son Fumba Sirleaf, head of the national
security service, at a duel in Monrovia. After that he
can leave his service on the radio channel Hott FM
107.9. He is later arrested and charged with threatening
Fumba Sirleaf to life. He is released on bail after
three days in custody and, with the help of well-to-do
friends, launches a new radio channel, Voice FM 102.7,
where he continues to criticize the president.