Liberia, at only 111,000sq kilometres, is around half the size of the state of Victoria, Australia. Its stunning coastline is characterised by swamps, lagoons and sandbars.
Violent thunderstorms are frequent and average rainfall is over 4.6 metres a year, making it difficult to travel by road as vehicles get stuck in deep thick mud on the country’s unpaved roads.
Created to receive freed slaves from North America, the country was christened ‘Liberia’ in the 1820s by its American colonists.
In recent years, the country has struggled to find the freedom its name implies. Battered by a 14-year civil war which ended in 2003, claimed more than 250,000 lives and left the country in economic ruin – today, more than 50% of the population live below the poverty line.
According to a national census, 85.5% of the population practises Christianity, but the Church is fragile and many believers live in fear and spiritual bondage.
The terrible impact of the 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic on the country is likely to be felt for many years to come.
MAF began flying in Liberia in 2015 and serves over 160 NGOs and mission groups working to bring hope to Liberia’s poorest, including those living in refugee camps along Liberia’s borders.
A large number of airstrips in Liberia are debilitated and unused following the civil war, and one of MAF’s priorities is to prepare and reopen as many as possible so that more communities can have a lifeline.
NGOs who spent long hours and days travelling to reach remote locations have expressed renewed enthusiasm for an MAF program in the country.