Engaged Youth Spur Liberia's Economic Turnaround

Liberia's economy is still reeling from the burden of Ebola, and its fragile but improving health infrastructure was knocked backward.

The British medical journal The Lancet, in an editorial, estimated that the 83 Liberian physicians known to have died from Ebola - 10 per cent of its doctors as well as eight per cent of its nurses and midwives - led to a 110 per cent increase in maternal mortality. The cessation of usual malaria care was responsible for as much as a 140 percent increase in Liberian deaths, most of them children.

Schools closed, domestic agriculture production plummeted - increasing hunger and malnutrition - and the country's economic growth was cut in half, according to World Bank estimates. In that situation, creating jobs and putting land to productive use saves lives while it aids continuing recovery.And just as mostly unheralded community and national efforts were central to winning the Ebola fight, Liberians - while appealing for global support - are looking to themselves to regain their economic footing.This special section is made possible by a grant from the Like a River Fund.

J-Palm Liberia CEO and founder Mahmud Johnson

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