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Mary’s Meals provides school meals to more than 100,000 children in Liberia every school day.

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Where we work

Life in Liberia

In Liberia, like many poor countries, survival often takes priority over education – unless there is the incentive of a meal being provided at school.

Currently ranked 178 out of 191 countries and territories in the Human Development Index (HDI), Liberia is one of the poorest countries in the world.  The World Food Program estimates that 16% of families are food insecure and around 27% of the population live below the international poverty line ($2.15 USD a day).

Liberia, known officially as the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the West African coast. It is bordered by Guinea to the north, Sierra Leone to the north-west, Ivory Coast to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the south/south-east.

Liberia is considered to be one of the most ethnically diverse nations on the planet, with more than 30 native Liberian languages in regular use. English is commonly spoken as a means of connecting people from different regions.

Liberia’s children suffered greatly as a result of a brutal 14-year civil war, which destroyed the majority of schools and forced most of the country’s children out of education.

Despite a decade of unbroken peace, Liberia still faces huge challenges to re-establishing its education system. It is estimated that 210,622 children of primary school age are out of school, and more than half of all students do not complete primary school.

The country is also still dealing with the legacy of the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak, when the disease closed schools, crippled economies and wiped-out livelihoods. It is likely Covid-19 will leave a similarly debilitating legacy.

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Mary's Meals in Liberia

Mary’s Meals has been supporting children with school feeding in Liberia since 2006, but the charity’s work in the country goes back to 1992 when we provided aid during the first civil war.

We currently serve school meals to more than 100,000 children in five counties in Liberia: Bong, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Montserrado. Mary’s Meals is the sole provider of school feeding in Bong County.

Many of the schools we support are in remote and hard-to-reach areas. Delivering food to these schools that are found deep in the jungle, accessible only via off-road routes, is particularly challenging during rainy season when flooding is common.

Locally produced food is limited in Liberia and while we strive to source as much of our food locally as possible, it is sometimes necessary to order from further afield to ensure we can keep our promise to feed the hungry children we serve.

When did we start working in Liberia?

Mary’s Meals has been working in Liberia since 1992. Our school feeding program began in 2006

How many children do we feed in Liberia?

Our meals are served to more than 100,000 school children across the country.

What meal do we provide?

Typical school meal is rice and peas. (Some schools have successful vegetable gardens where they grow additional food for the meals.)

Where are we based/where do we operate?

Bong County, Bomi, Grand Cape Mount, Gbarpolu and Montserrado counties

What is the capital of Liberia?

The capital city of Liberia is Monrovia

What language(s) are spoken in Liberia?

English is Liberia’s official language and serves as the common language, that helps connect people of various linguistic backgrounds

What currency is used in Liberia?

The dollar (LRD)

What is the population of Liberia?

Liberia has a population of 5,360,000.