Introduction

Africa :: Liberia

Background:
Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political gaps between the descendants of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule. In December 1989, Charles TAYLOR launched a rebellion against DOE's regime that led to a prolonged civil war in which DOE was killed. A period of relative peace in 1997 allowed for elections that brought TAYLOR to power, but major fighting resumed in 2000. An August 2003 peace agreement ended the war and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who faces war crimes charges in The Hague related to his involvement in Sierra Leone's civil war. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF to power. She subsequently won reelection in 2011 in a second round vote that was boycotted by the opposition and remains challenged to build Liberia's economy and reconcile a nation still recovering from 14 years of fighting. The United Nations Security Council in September 2012 passed Resolution 2066 which calls for a reduction of UN troops in Liberia by half by 2015, bringing the troop total down to fewer than 4000, and challenging Liberia's security sector to fill the gaps.

Geography

Location:
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone

Geographic coordinates:
6 30 N, 9 30 W

Map references:
Africa

Area:
Total: 111,369 sq km
Country comparison to the world: 104
Land: 96,320 sq km
Water: 15,049 sq km

Area - comparative:
slightly larger than Tennessee

Land boundaries:
Total: 1,585 km
Border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km

Coastline:
579 km

Maritime claims:
Territorial sea: 200 nm

Climate:
tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers

Terrain:
mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast

Elevation extremes:
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m

Natural resources:
iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower

Land use:
Arable land: 4.04%
Permanent crops: 1.62%
Other: 94.34% (2011)

Irrigated land:
21 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources:
232 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
Total: 0.13 cu km/yr (55%/37%/8%)
Per capita: 43.66 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards:
dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)

Environment - current issues:
tropical rain forest deforestation; soil erosion; loss of biodiversity; pollution of coastal waters from oil residue and raw sewage

Environment - international agreements:
Party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
Signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note:
facing the Atlantic Ocean, the coastline is characterized by lagoons, mangrove swamps, and river-deposited sandbars; the inland grassy plateau supports limited agriculture

People and Society

Nationality:
Noun: Liberian(s)
Adjective: Liberian

Ethnic groups:
Kpelle 20.3%, Bassa 13.4%, Grebo 10%, Gio 8%, Mano 7.9%, Kru 6%, Lorma 5.1%, Kissi 4.8%, Gola 4.4%, other 20.1% (2008 Census)

Languages:
English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence

Religions:
Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.4% (2008 Census)

Population:
3,989,703 (July 2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 127

Age structure:
0-14 years: 43.6% (male 876,696/female 863,873)
15-24 years: 17.8% (male 345,357/female 363,746)
25-54 years: 31.3% (male 622,806/female 624,707)
55-64 years: 4.3% (male 84,252/female 87,250)
65 years and over: 3% (male 60,288/female 60,728) (2013 est.)

Dependency ratios:
Total dependency ratio: 84.9 %
Youth dependency ratio: 79.3 %
Elderly dependency ratio: 5.6 %
Potential support ratio: 17.8 (2013)

Median age:
Total: 17.9 years
Male: 17.7 years
Female: 18.1 years (2013 est.)

Population growth rate:
2.56% (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 27

Birth rate:
35.75 births/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 24

Death rate:
10.12 deaths/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 50

Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Urbanization:
Urban population: 48.2% of total population (2011)
Rate of urbanization: 3.43% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population:
MONROVIA (capital) 882,000 (2009)

Sex ratio:
At birth: 1.03 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female
Total population: 1 male(s)/female (2013 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth:
19.1 (2007 est.)

Maternal mortality rate:
770 deaths/100,000 live births (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 8

Infant mortality rate:
Total: 70.93 deaths/1,000 live births
Country comparison to the world: 17
Male: 75.25 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 66.47 deaths/1,000 live births (2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
Total population: 57.81 years
Country comparison to the world: 197
Male: 56.2 years
Female: 59.47 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:
4.92 children born/woman (2013 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 21

Contraceptive prevalence rate:
11.4% (2007)

Health expenditures:
11.9% of GDP (2010)
Country comparison to the world: 9

Physicians density:
0.01 physicians/1,000 population (2008)

Hospital bed density:
0.8 beds/1,000 population (2010)

Drinking water source:
Improved:
urban: 88% of population
rural: 60% of population
total: 73% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 12% of population
rural: 40% of population
total: 27% of population (2010 est.)

Sanitation facility access:
Improved:
urban: 29% of population
rural: 7% of population
total: 18% of population
Unimproved:
urban: 71% of population
rural: 93% of population
total: 82% of population (2010 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
1.5% (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 36

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
37,000 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 64

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
3,600 (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 44

Major infectious diseases:
Degree of risk: very high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever
Water contact disease: schistosomiasis
Aerosolized dust or soil contact disease: Lassa fever
Animal contact disease: rabies (2013)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate:
4.8% (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 161

Children under the age of 5 years underweight:
20.4% (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 33

Education expenditures:
2.8% of GDP (2008)
Country comparison to the world: 147

Literacy:
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 60.8%
Male: 64.8%
Female: 56.8% (2010 est.)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
Total: 11 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 9 years (2000)

Child labor - children ages 5-14:
Total number: 177,160
Percentage: 21 % (2007 est.)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24:
Total: 5.1%
Country comparison to the world: 133
Male: 3.4%
Female: 6.6% (2010)

Government

Country name:
Conventional long form: Republic of Liberia
Conventional short form: Liberia

Government type:
republic

Capital:
Name: Monrovia
Geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 48 W
Time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions:
15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe

Independence:
26 July 1847

National holiday:
Independence Day, 26 July (1847)

Constitution:
6 January 1986

Legal system:
mixed legal system of common law (based on Anglo-American law) and customary law

International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:
18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
Chief of state: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
Head of government: President Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF (since 16 January 2006); Vice President Joseph BOAKAI (since 16 January 2006)
Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate
Elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (eligible for a second term); elections last held on 11 October and 8 November 2011 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF reelected president; percent of vote, second round - Ellen JOHNSON SIRLEAF 90.7%, Winston TUBMAN 9.3%

Legislative branch:
bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms) and the House of Representatives (73 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)
Elections: Senate - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2014); House of Representatives - last held on 11 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017)
Election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 10, NPP 6, CDC 3, APD 2, NUDP 2, LDP 1, LP 1, NDC 1, NDPL 1, independents 3; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - UP 24, CDC 11, LP 7, NUDP 6, NDC 5, APD 3, NPP 3, MPC 2, LDP 1, LTP 1, NRP 1, independents 9

Judicial branch:
Highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of a chief Justice and 4 associate justices)
note - the Supreme Court has jurisdiction for all constitutional cases
Judge selection and term of office: chief justice and associate justices appointed by the president of Liberia with consent of the Senate; judges can serve until age 70
Subordinate courts: judicial circuit courts; special courts including criminal, civil, labor, traffic; magistrate and traditional or customary courts

Political parties and leaders:
Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Marcus S. G. DAHN]
Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [Geraldine DOE-SHERIFF]
Liberia Destiny Party or LDP [Nathaniel BARNES]
Liberty Party or LP [Isreal ARKINSAYAN]
Liberia Transformation Party or LTP [Julius SUKU]
Movement for Progressive Change or MPC [Simeon FREEMAN]
National Democratic Coalition or NDC [Dew MAYSON]
National Democratic Party of Liberia or NDPL [D. Nyandeh SIEH]
National Patriotic Party or NPP [Theophilus C. GOULD]
National Reformist Party or NRP [Maximillian T. W. DIABE]
National Union for Democratic Progress or NUDP [Emmanuel LOMAX]
Unity Party or UP [Varney SHERMAN]

Political pressure groups and leaders:
Other: demobilized former military officers

International organization participation:
ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, EITI (compliant country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, IMSO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO (correspondent), ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic representation in the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Jeremiah Congbeh SULUNTEH
Chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
Telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437
FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic representation from the US:
Chief of mission: Ambassador Deborah R. MALAC
Embassy: U.S. Embassy, P.O. Box 98, 502 Benson Street, Monrovia
Mailing address: P.O. Box 98, Monrovia
Telephone: [231] 77-677-7000
FAX: [231] 77-677-7370

National symbol(s):
white star

National anthem:
Name: "All Hail, Liberia Hail!"

Lyrics/music: Daniel Bashiel WARNER/Olmstead LUCA
note: lyrics adopted 1847, music adopted 1860; the anthem's author would become the third president of Liberia

Economy

Economy - overview:
Liberia is a low income country heavily reliant on foreign assistance for revenue. Civil war and government mismanagement destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around the capital, Monrovia. Many businesses fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them, but with the conclusion of fighting and the installation of a democratically-elected government in 2006, several have returned. Liberia has the distinction of having the highest ratio of direct foreign investment to GDP in the world. Richly endowed with water, mineral resources, forests, and a climate favorable to agriculture, Liberia had been a producer and exporter of basic products, primarily raw timber and rubber and is reviving those sectors. Local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. President JOHNSON SIRLEAF, a Harvard-trained banker and administrator, has taken steps to reduce corruption, build support from international donors, and encourage private investment. Embargos on timber and diamond exports have been lifted, opening new sources of revenue for the government and Liberia shipped its first major timber exports to Europe in 2010. The country reached its Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative completion point in 2010 and nearly $5 billion of international debt was permanently eliminated. This new status will enable Liberia to establish a sovereign credit rating and issue bonds. Liberia's Paris Club creditors agreed to cancel Liberia's debt as well. The IMF has completed the sixth review of Liberia's extended credit facility, bringing total disbursements to over $379 million. The African Development Bank approved a grant of $48 million in 2011 to support economic governance and competitiveness. Rebuilding infrastructure and raising incomes will depend on generous financial and technical assistance from donor countries and foreign investment in key sectors, such as infrastructure and power generation. The country has achieved high growth during 2010-12 due to favorable world prices for its commodities.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$2.719 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 185
$2.509 billion (2011 est.)
$2.326 billion (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate):
$1.735 billion (2012 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:
8.3% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 16
7.9% (2011 est.)
6.1% (2010 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$700 (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 224
$600 (2011 est.)
$600 (2010 est.)
note: data are in 2012 US dollars

Gross national saving:
NA (2012 est.)
-36.6% of GDP (2011 est.)
-30.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use:
Household consumption: 125.6%
Government consumption: 15.2%
Investment in fixed capital: 25%
Investment in inventories: 0%
Exports of goods and services: 27.5%
Imports of goods and services: -93.3%
(2011 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin:
Agriculture: 76.9%
Industry: 5.4%
Services: 17.7% (2002 est.)

Agriculture - products:
rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (manioc), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber

Industries:
rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds

Industrial production growth rate:
NA%

Labor force:
1.372 million (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 133

Labor force - by occupation:
Agriculture: 70%
Industry: 8%
Services: 22% (2000 est.)

Unemployment rate:
85% (2003 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 200

Population below poverty line:
80% (2000 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Lowest 10%: 2.4%
Highest 10%: 30.1% (2007)

Budget:
Revenues: $481.5 million
Expenditures: $522.3 million (2012 est.)

Taxes and other revenues:
27.8% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 106

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-):
-2.4% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 93

Public debt:
2.6% of GDP (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155
0.4% of GDP (2011 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
6.9% (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 175
8.5% (2011 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
13.52% (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 58
13.75% (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of narrow money:
$322.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 168
$406.4 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of broad money:
$664.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 173
$560.2 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
$520.9 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 169
$475.3 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$NA

Current account balance:
-$587.5 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 99
-$754.3 million (2011 est.)

Exports:
$774.8 million (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 165
$645.7 million (2011 est.)

Exports - commodities:
rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee

Exports - partners:
China 24.2%, US 15.4%, Spain 11.1%, Thailand 4.5%, Cote dIvoire 4.4%, Malaysia 4.1%, France 4% (2012)

Imports:
$2.275 billion (2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 160
$2.068 billion (2011 est.)

Imports - commodities:
fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs

Imports - partners:
South Korea 26.4%, China 24.1%, Singapore 23%, Japan 15.9% (2012)

Debt - external:
$348 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 179
$447.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$3.574 billion (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 89
$2.912 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$201 million (31 December 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 84
$201 million (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates:
Liberian dollars (LRD) per US dollar -
73.515 (2012 est.)
72.227 (2011 est.)
71.403 (2010 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production:
335 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 167

Electricity - consumption:
311.6 million kWh (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 172

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 91

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 207

Electricity - installed generating capacity:
197,000 kW (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Electricity - from fossil fuels:
100% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 21

Electricity - from nuclear fuels:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 125

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 178

Electricity - from other renewable sources:
0% of total installed capacity (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 148

Crude oil - production:
0 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 155

Crude oil - exports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 141

Crude oil - imports:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 207

Crude oil - proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154

Refined petroleum products - production:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 196

Refined petroleum products - consumption:
3,533 bbl/day (2011 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 176

Refined petroleum products - exports:
0 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 192

Refined petroleum products - imports:
4,041 bbl/day (2008 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 162

Natural gas - production:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 154

Natural gas - consumption:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 163

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 133

Natural gas - imports:
0 cu m (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 88

Natural gas - proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2012 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 158

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy:
738,600 Mt (2010 est.)
Country comparison to the world: 174

Communications

Telephones - main lines in use:
3,200 (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 213

Telephones - mobile cellular:
2.03 million (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 140

Telephone system:
General assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital Monrovia; fixed-line service stagnant and extremely limited; telephone coverage extended to a number of other towns and rural areas by four mobile-cellular network operators
Domestic: mobile-cellular subscription base growing and teledensity reached 50 per 100 persons in 2011
International: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2010)

Broadcast media:
3 private TV stations; satellite TV service available; 1 state-owned radio station; about 15 independent radio stations broadcasting in Monrovia, with another 25 local stations operating in other areas; transmissions of 2 international broadcasters are available (2007)

Internet country code:
.lr

Internet hosts:
7 (2012)
Country comparison to the world: 228

Internet users:
20,000 (2009)
Country comparison to the world: 194

Transportation

Airports:
29 (2013)
Country comparison to the world: 117

Airports - with paved runways:
Total: 2
Over 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
Total: 27
1,524 to 2,437 m: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 8
Under 914 m:
14 (2013)

Pipelines:
oil 4 km (2013)

Railways:
Total: 429 km
Country comparison to the world: 115
Standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
Narrow gauge: 84 km 1.067-m gauge
note: most sections of the railways were inoperable because of damage suffered during the civil wars from 1980 to 2003, but many are being rebuilt (2008)

Roadways:
Total: 10,600 km
Country comparison to the world: 134
Paved: 657 km
Unpaved: 9,943 km (2000)

Merchant marine:
Total: 2,771
Country comparison to the world: 2
By type: barge carrier 5, bulk carrier 662, cargo 143, carrier 2, chemical tanker 248, combination ore/oil 8, container 937, liquefied gas 92, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 2, petroleum tanker 526, refrigerated cargo 102, roll on/roll off 5, specialized tanker 10, vehicle carrier 27
Foreign-owned: 2,581 (Angola 1, Argentina 1, Australia 1, Belgium 1, Bermuda 4, Brazil 20, Canada 2, Chile 9, China 4, Croatia 1, Cyprus 9, Denmark 8, Egypt 3, Germany 1185, Gibraltar 5, Greece 505, Hong Kong 48, India 8, Indonesia 4, Israel 34, Italy 47, Japan 110, Latvia 5, Lebanon 1, Monaco 8, Netherlands 31, Nigeria 4, Norway 38, Poland 13, Qatar 5, Romania 3, Russia 109, Saudi Arabia 20, Singapore 22, Slovenia 7, South Korea 2, Sweden 12, Switzerland 25, Syria 1, Taiwan 94, Turkey 16, UAE 37, UK 32, UK 22, Ukraine 10, Uruguay 1, US 53) (2010)

Ports and terminals:
Buchanan, Monrovia

Military

Military branches:
Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force

Military service age and obligation:
18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2012)

Manpower available for military service:
Males age 16-49: 815,826
Females age 16-49: 828,484 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
Males age 16-49: 524,243
Females age 16-49: 544,349 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Male: 36,585
Female: 38,516 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures:
0.8% of GDP (2011)
Country comparison to the world: 147

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international:
although civil unrest continues to abate with the assistance of 18,000 UN Mission in Liberia peacekeepers, as of January 2007, Liberian refugees still remain in Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone, and Ghana; Liberia, in turn, shelters refugees fleeing turmoil in Cote d'Ivoire; despite the presence of over 9,000 UN forces in Cote d'Ivoire since 2004, ethnic conflict continues to spread into neighboring states who can no longer send their migrant workers to Ivorian cocoa plantations; UN sanctions ban Liberia from exporting diamonds and timber

Refugees and internally displaced persons:
Refugees (country of origin): 58,710 (Cote d'Ivoire) (2013)
IDPs: undetermined (civil war from 1990-2004; unclear how many have found durable solutions; many dwell in slums in Monrovia) (2012)

Trafficking in persons:
Current situation: Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most victims are Liberian and are exploited within the country, where they are forced into domestic servitude, begging, prostitution, street vending, agricultural work, and diamond mining; a small number of Liberian men, women, and children are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and the US, while trafficking victims are brought to Liberia from neighboring West African countries, including Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire, and Nigeria
Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and achieved its first conviction under its 2005 anti-trafficking law; the government has failed to make adequate efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims and has not adopted or implemented the standard operating procedures for assisting victims finalized by the anti-trafficking secretariat in 2012; the referral of victims to NGOs for protective services is inconsistent (2013)

Illicit drugs:
transshipment point for Southeast and Southwest Asian heroin and South American cocaine for the European and US markets; corruption, criminal activity, arms-dealing, and diamond trade provide significant potential for money laundering, but the lack of well-developed financial system limits the country's utility as a major money-laundering center

Flag of Liberia



Flag description:
11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; a white five-pointed star appears on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the stripes symbolize the signatories of the Liberian Declaration of Independence; the blue square represents the African mainland, and the star represents the freedom granted to the ex-slaves; according to the constitution, the blue color signifies liberty, justice, and fidelity, the white color purity, cleanliness, and guilelessness, and the red color steadfastness, valor, and fervor
note: the design is based on the US flag