West Africa is finally free of Ebola


Liberia was today officially declared free of Ebola by the World Health Organization, after 42 days without a new case of the disease.

It joins Sierra Leone and Guinea, which earned the same status at the end of last year. Thank you for all your donations and prayers.

Tearfund is continuing to support the longer term needs of survivors and those left vulnerable after Ebola claimed around 11,000 lives since March 2014.

Photo: Emmanuel Tarr/Tearfund
Joanna has a good source of income to support her children thanks to the help of Tearfund partner Equip. Photo: Emmanuel Tarr/Tearfund

I’m so happy that Equip, and those supporting them, gave me money to start my business

Joanna, a Liberian mother helped by Tearfund partner Equip

Among them is Joanna, who lost her husband to Ebola while she was pregnant, leaving her with three children. Our partner Equip gave her training about running a business and a grant so she could start selling tea, bread and other food.

As a result, Joanna is making a weekly profit of at least £35 and she’s saving money to build a new home and send the kids to school.

‘I’m so happy that Equip, and those supporting them, gave me money to start my business,’ said Joanna. ‘God will always bless them.’

Photo: Emmanuel Tarr/Tearfund
Photo: Layton Thompson/Tearfund
Photo: Layton Thompson/Tearfund
(Clockwise from left) While Romeo is now back at work as a tailor, vigilance will still be needed to stop Ebola returning. Photos: Emmanuel Tarr/Layton Thompson/Tearfund

Liberians who contracted Ebola were quarantined and often emerged from treatment to discover their homes and possessions had been destroyed by health teams to prevent the spread of the virus.

Also, fear and distrust among community members has led to isolation and loss of income for many survivors. Our partner’s Ebola livelihood support fund is enabling survivor Romeo to get his tailoring business up and running after he recovered from the disease.

‘I came across Equip who took me into their programme, trained me in small business management and gave me a grant of US$200. I’ve used the grant to build a place to start my tailoring business again,' he said.

‘Now I’m getting money from sewing every day and am proud to be self-employed. I am so grateful to Equip for the great help they’ve given me.’

Liberia has been declared Ebola-free twice previously, but new cases then emerged. Please pray this doesn’t happen again.

Mark Lang