WASHINGTON, D.C. -
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced the $18.7 million Education Crisis Response program today to assist the Government of Liberia in restoring basic education in the Ebola-affected country and help return children to school safely. The program was announced today while Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf visited with staff from USAID.
The primary goals of the program, implemented by UNICEF, are to help reopen schools in all 15 Ebola-affected counties in Liberia, protect education gains and investments that have already been made, and prevent future disruptions in education. The program will help the Ministry of Education enforce strict protocols in schools including daily temperature monitoring of children and teachers, hand washing requirements, and referral mechanisms with local health centers. The program will also train teachers and engage the community to reassure them that it is safe to send their children to school.
“This USAID-funded program will restore access to education for thousands of Liberian children and youth,” said USAID’s Acting Administrator Al Lenhardt. “The United States’ commitment to Liberia is longstanding — and will remain so after the Ebola outbreak is eliminated. This program will help build resilience to future crises while affording children and youth greater economic opportunities for a brighter future.”
Liberia, along with Guinea and Sierra Leone, suffered from the worst outbreak of Ebola in history, which has had a profound impact on children. In addition to being vulnerable to the disease and losing family members, children have not gone to school for months, posing additional challenges to their well-being. In Liberia alone, more than 4,400 schools were closed in August 2014, leaving 1.5 million children at home until schools were deemed safe to reopen.
For more information about USAID and its programs, please visit www.usaid.gov