Embassy Monrovia is comprised of many U.S. government agencies representing a broad range of bilateral programs with Liberia. Represented at the Embassy are: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Department of State, Millennium Challenge Corporation, National Institutes of Health, Peace Corps, USAID, and Department of Homeland Security through the Coast Guard.
Visit each Agency’s section below for a more detailed description of its contribution to the mission’s work, along with related information, links, and relevant resources.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Liberia
CDC works with the Government of Liberia and partners to improve health systems and outcomes by building on existing capacities, as well as those that were developed during the response to the Ebola epidemic. During the recovery, efforts continue to help strengthen those public health systems created as a result of the epidemic and to support specific programs that meet the needs of Ebola survivors.
Our activities support the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), which aims to improve countries’ abilities to prevent, detect, and respond to health threats. In Liberia, we are doing this by focusing on key activities to:
- Build surveillance systems that monitor cases of infectious diseases
- Improve the safety and quality of national laboratory systems
- Develop the skills of the public health workforce
- Establish emergency operations centers that can quickly launch coordinated response to a public health threat.
The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic in West Africa was the largest in history. Liberia and the other affected countries suffered significant loss of human life that continues to impact communities and health systems. In the wake of the outbreak, there have been a number of additional cases/clusters of Ebola. CDC assists with detection and control of these cases/clusters, while supporting research and programs designed to meet the needs of survivors. Our experience in Liberia has demonstrated the importance of having the capacity to detect and respond to health threats early and close to the source, stopping future outbreaks before they become epidemics.
Global Health Security in Liberia – https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/healthprotection/resources/infographics/advancing-global-health-security-liberia.html
Global Health – Liberia https://www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/countries/liberia/default.htm
Global Health Security Agenda: https://www.ghsagenda.org/
Department of Defense
The Department of Defense is represented in Liberia by the Office of the Defense Attaché and the Office of Security Cooperation.
Office of the Defense Attaché
The Defense Attaché represents the Secretary of Defense; other top military officers and the Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Military. The Office of the Defense Attaché provides military and political-military advice, assistance, and support to the U.S. ambassador. The Office of the Defense Attaché has the full authority and responsibility inherent in the position on any military organization commander except the authority to administer military justice.
Office of Security Cooperation
The mission of the Office of Security Cooperation (OSC) is to provide U.S. Department of Defense Security Assistance to the Republic of Liberia on behalf of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), Michigan National Guard and U.S. Embassy Monrovia in order to further U.S. strategic goals and objectives and to improve military-to-military relations. Within this mission, OSC’s primary objective is to support the Armed Forces of Liberia in creating a professional, apolitical force committed to ensuring Liberian national sovereignty and serving as a “Force for Good.”
To achieve these goals, the OSC is focused in the following five areas:
- Strengthening Defense Institutions
- Promoting Maritime Security
- Fostering Professional Development
- Enhancing Medical Readiness and Engagement
- Developing Engineer Capacity
Office of the Defense Attaché
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7156
Office of Security Cooperation
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7491
Department of State
The Department of State’s mission is to shape and sustain a peaceful, prosperous, just, and democratic world and foster conditions for stability and progress for the benefit of the American people and people everywhere. This mission is shared with the USAID, ensuring we have a common path forward in partnership as we invest in the shared security and prosperity that will ultimately better prepare us for the challenges of tomorrow. Among the State Department’s activities at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia are:
The mission of the Bureau of Consular Affairs (CA) is to protect the lives and interests of American citizens overseas and to strengthen U.S. border security. Consular work is about touching people’s lives in a thousand different ways every day. We deal with events and issues that have a personal impact: birth, death, marriage, adoption, child custody, citizenship, and relocation to another country. CA provides the passports that enable Americans to travel internationally and stands ready to lend a helping hand when citizens fall victim to crime, accident or illness in other countries. Consular Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia consists of American Citizen Services and Visa Services.
American Citizen Services (ACS) provides information and assistance to U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Liberia. Please review the U.S. Citizen Services section to learn more about how we assist with emergencies, travel registration and alerts, passports, reporting births abroad, adoptions, federal benefits, public services, and professional services. American Citizen Services are provided on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and as needed in the case of emergencies.
We also offer nonimmigrant visa and immigrant visa services. Visa services are provided by appointment Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Phone inquiries are accepted Monday through Thursday from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Consular Section is located on Benson Street. We are open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. We close for non-emergency services on weekends and holidays.
Non-urgent American citizen inquiries, visa questions and other matters should be submitted via email to: ConsularMonrovia@state.gov
For emergencies only: (+231) 077 677 7389
The combined Political and Economic Section is responsible for the conduct of bilateral relations with the Government of Liberia (GoL) on political and economic policy matters. The Section ensures that the U.S. Department of State and other U.S. government agencies are aware of significant political and economic developments, including domestic developments in Liberia. We also work where possible to coordinate U.S. and GoL positions on sub-regional, African, and international issues ranging from peace and security to human rights to trade.
The Political and Economic Section maintains official contact with Liberian government Ministries and offices, members of the Legislature and other elected officials, political parties, non-governmental organizations, academics, and business leaders. We seek input from a wide range of Liberians from around the country to better understand their diverse views and perspectives. As we listen to Liberian points of view, we also advocate for policies consistent with U.S. interests, assess the degree of support for U.S. policies, and try to maximize cooperation with Liberia in areas of mutual concern.
We promote trade and commercial ties between Liberia and the United States by informing U.S. businesses of opportunities in the Liberian market and assisting U.S. companies who wish to find local partners or do business in Liberia.
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7319
Fax: (+231) 77-677-7370
Public Affairs Section
The Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia organizes a wide range of public diplomacy programs and activities in support of Mission goals. Through exchange and information programs, PAS Monrovia reinforces core American values, including freedom of speech and religious tolerance.
Exchange programs provide opportunities for Liberians to share in the American experience as they develop a better understanding of U.S. policies, values, culture and society. Through academic, cultural, professional and citizen exchange programs, PAS promotes the free exchange of information and ideas, and strives to increase mutual understanding between American and Liberian citizens. PAS manages exchange programs such as the Mandela Washington Fellowship, the Humphrey Fellowship and the International Visitor and Leadership Program for mid-level professionals. It also implements three youth exchanges designed to introduce promising Liberian youth to American life while developing their leadership and interpersonal skills. Through the Fulbright Specialist Program, local universities can apply to bring U.S. academics and professionals to Liberia to collaborate on projects that will strengthen and develop institutional capacity.
PAS Monrovia provides information about the United States’ policies, history, culture, values, and current affairs to key audiences in the government, media, academic and non-governmental sectors. It also issues press releases and coordinates Embassy media events. To better explain United States policies, PAS makes available official texts, transcripts and articles and coordinates weekly events to raise awareness and understanding of key issues. PAS provides training and support for local journalists. Its Information Resource Center and American Corners are a major source of information on the United States for local public, offering students and professionals Internet access, research materials, special training’s, and thematic programs.
- Assist in building democracy and free-market economies in societies that seek to build transparent, efficient and effective institutions.
- Create and strengthen personal and institutional ties between the U.S. and Liberia, thereby increasing mutual understanding and international stability.
- Explain U.S. policies and actions in ways that make sense to Liberian audiences. Present American society in all its complexity so that Liberians can understand the context of U.S. policies and actions.
- Promote and administer educational and cultural exchange programs in the national interest.
Public Diplomacy Section
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7428
Fax: (+231) 77-677-7370
Millennium Challenge Corporation
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is focused on delivering smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership, and results.
MCC forms partnerships with some of the world’s poorest countries, but only those committed to: (i) good governance, (ii) economic freedom, and (iii) and investments in their citizens. MCC provides these well-performing countries with large-scale grants to fund country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth. MCC grants complement other U.S. and international development programs. There are two primary types of MCC grants: compacts and threshold programs. Compacts are large, five-year grants for countries that pass MCC’s eligibility criteria. Threshold Programs are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to passing these criteria and are firmly committed to improving their policy performance.
In Liberia, MCC had a $15 million Threshold program from 2010-2013, which focused on improving land rights and access, increasing girls’ primary education enrollment and retention, and improving Liberia’s trade policy and practices. This program was funded by MCC and administered by USAID.
In 2016, MCC launched a five-year $257 million compact with Liberia to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty by focusing investments on road infrastructure and access to reliable and affordable electricity. The compact includes:
- Funding for the rehabilitation of the Mt. Coffee Hydropower Plant,
- Development of a training center for technicians in the electricity sector,
- Support for the creation of an independent energy sector regulator, and
- Support for an approach to nationwide road maintenance, including implementation of key periodic road maintenance works through a matching fund with the Liberian Government’s National Road Fund.
For more information, please visit MCC’s website: www.mcc.gov
National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the medical research agency of the U.S. government, is the largest funder of medical research in the world. Its mission is to better understand the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to enhance health and reduce illness and disability. NIH supports basic research as well as clinical and translational research that transform fundamental discoveries into medical tools and practice.
In August 2014, at the height of the West African Ebola outbreak, the Liberian Minister of Health & Social Welfare, Walter Gwenigale, requested assistance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell to develop a clinical research program that would initially focus on accelerated development of promising Ebola vaccines and therapeutics. Secretary Burwell asked NIH to lead this effort to be headed by Dr. Cliff Lane, Deputy Director for Clinical Research at the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Over the next few months, a Liberia-U.S. scientific clinical research collaboration known as the Partnership for Research on Ebola Virus in Liberia, or PREVAIL, was quickly established to help improve the health of Liberians and people worldwide.
The first three PREVAIL studies started rapidly—within 4, 5, and 9 months, respectively—to test candidate Ebola vaccines and therapeutics, and to conduct a natural history study of Ebola survivors, in scientifically rigorous protocols that were also ethically sound. No infrastructure for clinical research existed in Liberia at the time. The PREVAIL team decided that in implementing the initial vaccine study, a concerted effort would be made to build the infrastructure for a sustainable program of clinical research. This included establishing a physical infrastructure as well as training clinical research personnel. The PREVAIL research clinics at Redemption Hospital and at JFK Hospital are examples of the sustainable infrastructure that has been built: both the physical plants and trained corps of clinical research personnel.
The vaccine trial, known as PREVAIL 1, was launched on Feb. 2, 2015 and fully enrolled 1,500 individuals by the end of April. It compared the two advanced Ebola vaccines, one made by Merck (rVSV) and the other by Glaxo-Smith-Kline (ChAd3), with placebo. The study demonstrated the safety and immunogenicity of both vaccines. Due to the waning epidemic, however, efficacy data could not be obtained.
PREVAIL 1 has been followed by PREVAIL 2-6.
- PREVAIL 2 – Randomized, controlled treatment trial of ZMapp, a monoclonal antibody
- PREVAIL 3 – Long-term follow-up of Ebola survivors and close contacts
- PREVAIL 4 – Evaluation of the antiviral drug GS-5734 in survivors with persistent Ebola RNA in semen
- PREVAIL 5 – An expansion of PREVAIL 1, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of the Merck (rVSV) and J&J (Ad26/MVA-BN) vaccines
- PREVAIL 6 – Genomic evaluation of host factors associated with Ebola virus infection (launched Sept. 4, 2017)
The PREVAIL 5 study, also known as PREVAC, was launched in the spring of 2017 in Guinea and Liberia and is expected to open soon in Sierra Leone and Mali. Partners include the host countries, the French research agency INSERM and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The PREVAIL team also has led the effort to establish a larger research collaboration known as the West Africa Sub-Regional Research Consortium.
The Peace Corps first entered Liberia in 1962 and had Volunteers serving up to the beginning of the civil war in 1990. After an 18-year break, the Peace Corps reentered Liberia in 2008. After a brief evacuation of Volunteers in 2014 due to the Ebola epidemic, Volunteers returned to Liberia in June 2015 and have been a dedicated partner in development since.
More than 4,185 Volunteers have served in Liberia from 1962 until present (February 2017), contributing to nearly every sector of the country’s development–including education, agriculture, rural development, and health education. Volunteers filled significant gaps and made singular contributions to the development of the nation. Many leaders in Liberia today have a Peace Corps connection—be it as a former Volunteer, co-worker, teacher, or friend.
The Peace Corps Liberia program continues to focus on education in Liberia, with two-year Volunteers teaching math and science at government junior and senior high schools in all 15 counties, as well as one-year Response Volunteers who serve as teacher trainers and as part of the Peace Corps public/private partnership with Seed Global Health. This unique partnership places doctors, nurses, midwives, and anesthetist educators at training institutions and medical facilities in Liberia. The Peace Corps, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Health are working collaboratively to coordinate activities which will improve the lives of students in Liberia.
The Government of Liberia continues to make significant contributions to the Peace Corps Liberia program, including granting Peace Corps full-time access to the presidential lodge complex in Margibi County. Peace Corps is honored to work in partnership with the Government of Liberia to assist in rebuilding the education and health sectors and to create the next generation of leaders in Liberia.
The United States has a long history of extending a helping hand to those people overseas struggling to make a better life, recover from a disaster or striving to live in a free and democratic country. It is this caring that stands as a hallmark of the United States around the world — and shows the world our true character as a nation.
U.S. foreign assistance has always had the twofold purpose of furthering America’s foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world. Spending less than one-half of one-percent of the federal budget, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) works around the world to achieve these goals.
USAID’s history goes back to the Marshall Plan reconstruction of Europe after World War Two and the Truman Administration’s Point Four Program. In 1961, the Foreign Assistance Act was signed into law and USAID was created by executive order.
Since that time, USAID has been the premier U.S. agency to extend assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms.
For nearly six decades, USAID has been working in Liberia on rural and urban development, health and education. Today, the USAID bi-lateral mission in Liberia is the Agency’s second largest in Africa, and is engaged in a range of programs positively impacting millions of Liberians.
USAID Liberia’s programs concentrate on establishing a stable democracy, changing the culture of impunity, systematic corruption and poor governance, closing severe gaps in access to quality education and health care, expanding economic opportunity through agricultural enterprise and natural resources management, and helping to rebuild essential infrastructure and sources of renewable energy.
USAID | Liberia
Phone: (+231) 77-677-7211