IRC Receives $17.8M USAID Grant to Scale up Health Services in Liberia

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IRC Country Director, Faith A. Cooper and Health Minister Dr. Wilhelmina Jallah

IRC Liberia has received a $17.8 million grant from USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, to support the government of Liberia’s National Community Health Program. Approximately 29% of the Liberian population and 60% of the rural population live more than 5km from a health facility. With a host of health challenges in the area including high incidence of Malaria, anemia and a lack of reproductive health services, this USAID funded program will enable IRC to support the Liberian Ministry of Health to meet the health needs of underserved populations in Bong and Lofa counties.

Faith Cooper, IRC Liberia Country Director said, “We are delighted to have been awarded this crucial grant by USAID. The grant will allow us to improve the quality of health services in the target areas. Not only will we support the government of Liberia to increase the coverage of community health assistants in these counties, we will also be increasing the capacity of county health staff and communities to plan, manage and monitor the comprehensive delivery of health services.

“We have already seen the positive impact of such grants and this project presents a unique opportunity to build on the gains achieved under the previous USAID community health grant; “Partnership for Advancing Community-based Services (PACS)”, implemented by the IRC and partners. PACS supported the government to strengthen health systems, improve reproductive maternal and child health, as well as restore public confidence in health facilities and health staff. PACS also provided support to build the government of Liberia’s capacity to control infectious diseases and efforts to rebuild the health system.

“Under PACS, we saw an almost 20% increase in the number of children under five years of age being treated for Malaria. IRC also trained over 2,500 community health workers who identified and treated children with pneumonia hence reducing the number of children needing to be referred to health facilities. 1061 communities were certified as open-defecation free (ODF) and IRC also supported COVID-19 training for over 2000 community health workers. We were also able to repair 424 hand pumps, build over 6,000 latrines and constructed 73 maternal waiting homes with the previous grant.

The IRC is excited to partner with the Liberian Ministry of Health, national community based organizations, international non-profit organizations, as well as local communities to create lasting and meaningful change through this USAID funded project.”

The IRC has been working in Liberia since 1996 and has supported thousands of people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. Today the IRC is working across multiple sectors in Liberia: Women’s Protection and Empowerment (WPE), Child and Youth Protection and Development (CYPD), Economic Recovery and Development (ERD), and Health. The IRC has implemented projects in eleven of Liberia’s fifteen counties.

For additional information about the USAID funded project at the IRC, Please contact Faith Akovi Cooper, IRC Liberia Country Director at Faith.Cooper@rescue.orgThe U.S. Agency for International Development administers the U.S. foreign assistance program providing economic and humanitarian assistance in more than 80 countries worldwide. This Press Release is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of the International Rescue Committee and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.

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