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Red Cross Says Healthcare, Infrastructure Lacking in Liberia

A patient from the Holy Ghost Mental Home tries to reach out, whilst chained to his bed, in Monrovia, Liberia (File Photo)

Seven years after the end of armed conflict, Liberians are facing a lack of basic needs, including health care and sanitation.

Though recent progress has been made, many Liberians are still lacking in basic humanitarian needs seven years after the end of armed conflict in the West African country, says the International Committee of the Red Cross' head of delegation in Liberia, Karin Hofmann.

"I think what is important to understand is that the scope of the destruction this country has suffered from 14 years of civil war and to highlight the time it takes for a country to really get up, get back on its feet again and really address those humanitarian needs," said Hofmann.

As part of the ICRC's event to mark its 20-year presence in the country, Hofmann said the organization hopes to draw attention to the problems of health care and infrastructure that face most Liberians.

"For example, it is basically in all fields, but I think it is of most concern in the medical field, access to health care for Liberians especially in rural areas," she said.

In Liberia, almost 15 in every 100 children die before the age of five, and maternal mortality rates are some of the worst in the world Hofmann said.

She added that infrastructure projects are also needed to get medicine, goods and salaries to rural areas.

"Liberia suffers today, still, for lack of roads that connect the capital with the remote areas," said Hofmann.

In August 2003, a peace agreement ended 14 years of civil war in Liberia and prompted the resignation of then-president Charles Taylor.