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Liberia (2003)

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Liberia 2003 year

Administrative divisions 15 counties; Bomi, Bong, Gparbolu, Grand Bassa, Grand Cape Mount, Grand Gedeh, Grand Kru, Lofa, Margibi, Maryland, Montserrado, Nimba, River Cess, River Gee, Sinoe
Age structure 0-14 years: 43.4% (male 724,960; female 716,831)

15-64 years: 53% (male 858,191; female 898,851)

65 years and over: 3.6% (male 59,539; female 58,804) (2003 est.)
Agriculture - products rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Airports 47 (2002)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 45

1,524 to 2,437 m: 4

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 34 (2002)
Area total: 111,370 sq km

land: 96,320 sq km

water: 15,050 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Tennessee
Background Eight years of civil strife were brought to a close in 1997 when free and open presidential and legislative elections were held. President TAYLOR now holds strong executive power with no real political opposition. Years of fighting, coupled with the flight of most businesses, have disrupted formal economic activity. A still unsettled domestic security situation has slowed the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country. In 2001, the UN imposed sanctions on Liberian diamonds, along with an arms embargo and a travel ban on government officials, for Liberia's support of the rebel insurgency in Sierra Leone. Renewed rebel activity has further eroded stability and economic activity. A regional peace initiative commenced in the spring of 2003 but was disrupted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) indictment of President TAYLOR on war crimes charges.
Birth rate 45.28 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Budget revenues: $85.4 million

expenditures: $90.5 million, including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital Monrovia
Climate tropical; hot, humid; dry winters with hot days and cool to cold nights; wet, cloudy summers with frequent heavy showers
Coastline 579 km
Constitution 6 January 1986
Country name conventional long form: Republic of Liberia

conventional short form: Liberia
Currency Liberian dollar (LRD)
Death rate 17.84 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Debt - external $2.1 billion (2000 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador John William BLANEY III

embassy: 111 United Nations Drive, P. O. Box 10-0098, Mamba Point, 1000 Monrovia, 10 Liberia

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [231] 226-370 through 226-380

FAX: [231] 226-148
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge D'Affaires Aaron B. KOLLIE

chancery: 5201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011

telephone: [1] (202) 723-0437

FAX: [1] (202) 723-0436

consulate(s) general: New York
Disputes - international rebels and refugees contribute to border instabilities with Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, and Guinea; the Ivorian Government accuses Liberia of supporting Ivorian rebels
Economic aid - recipient $94 million (1999)
Economy - overview Civil war and misgovernment have destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia. Many businessmen have fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some have returned; many will not. 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. Local manufacturing, mainly foreign owned, had been small in scope. The restoration of the infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy depend on the settlement of civil warfare, the implementation of sound macro- and micro-economic policies, including the encouragement of foreign investment, and generous support from donor countries.
Electricity - consumption 435.9 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 468.8 million kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 100%

hydro: 0%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Mount Wuteve 1,380 m
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups indigenous African tribes 95% (including Kpelle, Bassa, Gio, Kru, Grebo, Mano, Krahn, Gola, Gbandi, Loma, Kissi, Vai, Dei, Bella, Mandingo, and Mende), Americo-Liberians 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the US who had been slaves), Congo People 2.5% (descendants of immigrants from the Caribbean who had been slaves)
Exchange rates Liberian dollars per US dollar - NA (2002), 48.58 (2001), 40.95 (2000), 41.9 (1999), 41.51 (1998)

note: until December 1997, rates were based on a fixed relationship with the US dollar; beginning in January 1998, rates are market determined
Executive branch chief of state: President Gyude BRYANT (since 14 October 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Gyude BRYANT (since 14 October 2003); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate

elections: president elected by popular vote for a six-year term (renewable); election last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held NA 2005)

election results: Charles Ghankay TAYLOR elected president; percent of vote - Charles Ghankay TAYLOR (NPP) 75.3%, Ellen Johnson SIRLEAF (UP) 9.6%, Alhaji KROMAH (ALCOP) 4%, other 11.1%; note - Taylor stepped down in August 2003

note:: a UN-brokered cease fire among waring factions and the Liberian government resulted in the August 2003 resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR; a jointly agreed upon replacement, President Gyude BRYANT, assumed office as chairman of the National Transitional Government on 14 October 2003
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $110 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
Exports - partners Germany 54.8%, Poland 8.9%, France 8.5%, China 4.9%, Italy 4.5%, US 4.2% (2002)
Fiscal year calendar year
Flag description 11 equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a white five-pointed star on a blue square in the upper hoist-side corner; the design was based on the US flag
GDP purchasing power parity - $3.116 billion (2002 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 74%

industry: 7%

services: 19% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,000 (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2% (2002 est.)
Geographic coordinates 6 30 N, 9 30 W
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
Highways total: 10,600 km

paved: 657 km

unpaved: 9,943 km (1999 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: NA%

highest 10%: NA%
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
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $165 million f.o.b. (2002 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
Imports - partners South Korea 30.3%, Japan 19.1%, Germany 15.6%, France 9.1%, Singapore 7.9% (2002)
Independence 26 July 1847
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds
Infant mortality rate total: 132.18 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 139.03 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 125.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 15% (2002 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, ECA, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ITU, NAM, OAU, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 2 (2001)
Irrigated land 30 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 70%, industry 8%, services 22% (2000 est.)
Land boundaries total: 1,585 km

border countries: Guinea 563 km, Cote d'Ivoire 716 km, Sierra Leone 306 km
Land use arable land: 1.97%

permanent crops: 2.08%

other: 95.95% (1998 est.)
Languages English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages, of which a few can be written and are used in correspondence
Legal system dual system of statutory law based on Anglo-American common law for the modern sector and customary law based on unwritten tribal practices for indigenous sector
Legislative branch bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (26 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve nine-year terms) and the House of Representatives (64 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve six-year terms)

elections: Senate - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held NA 2006); House of Representatives - last held 19 July 1997 (next to be held 14 October 2003)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 21, UP 3, ALCOP 2; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - NPP 49, UP 7, ALCOP 3, Alliance of Political Parties 2, UPP 2, LPP 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 48.15 years

male: 47.03 years

female: 49.3 years (2003 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 57.5%

male: 73.3%

female: 41.6%

note: (2003 est.)
Location Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone
Map references Africa
Maritime claims territorial sea: 200 NM
Merchant marine total: 1,432 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 48,700,851 GRT/75,408,994 DWT

ships by type: barge carrier 3, bulk 282, cargo 80, chemical tanker 163, combination bulk 12, combination ore/oil 24, container 357, liquefied gas 82, multi-functional large-load carrier 4, passenger 6, petroleum tanker 286, refrigerated cargo 60, roll on/roll off 19, short-sea passenger 4, specialized tanker 13, vehicle carrier 37

note: includes some foreign-owned ships registered here as a flag of convenience: Argentina 9, Australia 2, Austria 15, Belgium 9, Brazil 5, Canada 4, Cayman Islands 1, Chile 7, China 39, Croatia 11, Denmark 4, Ecuador 1, Estonia 1, Germany 437, Greece 154, Hong Kong 69, India 5, Indonesia 1, Israel 1, Italy 5, Japan 90, Latvia 20, Isle of Man 5, Monaco 56, Netherlands 12, NZ 1, Nigeria 1, Norway 103, Pakistan 1, Portugal 5, Russia 66, Saudi Arabia 21, Singapore 20, Slovenia 1, South Africa 1, South Korea 10, Spain 2, Sweden 9, Switzerland 17, Taiwan 29, Turkey 3, Ukraine 4, UAE 12, UK 39, US 113, Uruguay 3, Vietnam 1 (2002 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $7.8 million (FY02)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1.3% (FY02)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 735,481 (2003 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 396,725 (2003 est.)
National holiday Independence Day, 26 July (1847)
Nationality noun: Liberian(s)

adjective: Liberian
Natural hazards dust-laden harmattan winds blow from the Sahara (December to March)
Natural resources iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold, hydropower
Net migration rate -10.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: 200,000 Liberian refugees are in surrounding countries though slowly returning (2003 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance of Political Parties (a coalition of LAP and LUP) [leader NA]; All Liberia Coalition Party or ALCOP [Peter KERBAY]; Liberian Action Party or LAP [C. Gyude BRYANT]; Liberian People's Party or LPP [Koffa NAGBE]; Liberia Unification Party or LUP [leader NA]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Cyril ALLEN] - governing party; United People's Party or UPP [Wesley JOHNSON]; Unity Party or UP [Charles CLARKE]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 3,317,176 (July 2003 est.)
Population below poverty line 80%
Population growth rate 1.67% (2003 est.)
Ports and harbors Buchanan, Greenville, Harper, Monrovia, Robertsport
Radio broadcast stations AM 0, FM 7, shortwave 2 (2001)
Railways total: 490 km

standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge

narrow gauge: 145 km 1.067-m gauge

note: none of the railways are in operation (2002)
Religions indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.01 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: telephone and telegraph service via microwave radio relay network; main center is Monrovia

domestic: NA

international: satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 6,700 (2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular 0 (1998)
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus four low-power repeaters) (2001)
Terrain mostly flat to rolling coastal plains rising to rolling plateau and low mountains in northeast
Total fertility rate 6.23 children born/woman (2003 est.)
Unemployment rate NA
Waterways none
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