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Liberia (2006)

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Liberia 2006 year

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
Age structure 0-14 years: 43.1% (male 656,016/female 653,734)

15-64 years: 54.2% (male 816,443/female 832,152)

65 years and over: 2.8% (male 40,591/female 43,068) (2006 est.)
Agriculture - products rubber, coffee, cocoa, rice, cassava (tapioca), palm oil, sugarcane, bananas; sheep, goats; timber
Airports 53 (2006)
Airports - with paved runways total: 2

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2006)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 51

1,524 to 2,437 m: 5

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 38 (2006)
Area total: 111,370 sq km

land: 96,320 sq km

water: 15,050 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Tennessee
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 descendents of the original settlers and the inhabitants of the interior. In 1980, a military coup led by Samuel DOE assassinated President William TOLBERT (1971-80) and ushered in a decade of authoritarian rule followed by a prolonged civil war, in which DOE himself was killed. In August 2003, a comprehensive peace agreement ended 14 years of intermittent fighting and prompted the resignation of former president Charles TAYLOR, who was exiled to Nigeria. After two years of rule by a transitional government, democratic elections in late 2005 brought President Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF to power. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which maintains a strong presence throughout the country, completed a disarmament program for former combatants in late 2004, but the security situation is still volatile and the process of rebuilding the social and economic structure of this war-torn country remains sluggish.
Birth rate 44.77 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Budget revenues: $85.4 million

expenditures: $90.5 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2000 est.)
Capital name: Monrovia

geographic coordinates: 6 18 N, 10 47 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
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
Death rate 23.1 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Debt - external $3.2 billion (2005 est.)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Donald E. BOOTH

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

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 Charles A. MINOR

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 although Liberia's domestic fighting among disparate rebel groups, warlords, and youth gangs was declared over in 2003, civil unrest persists, and in 2004, 133,000 Liberian refugees remained in Guinea, 72,000 in Cote d'Ivoire, 67,000 in Sierra Leone, and 43,000 in Ghana; Liberia, in turn, shelters refugees fleeing turmoil in Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone; since 2003, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has maintained about 18,000 peacekeepers in Liberia; the Cote d'Ivoire Government accuses Liberia of supporting Ivoirian rebels; UN sanctions ban Liberia from exporting diamonds and timber
Economic aid - recipient $94 million (1999)
Economy - overview Civil war and government mismanagement have destroyed much of Liberia's economy, especially the infrastructure in and around Monrovia, while continued international sanctions on diamonds and timber exports will limit growth prospects for the foreseeable future. Many businessmen have fled the country, taking capital and expertise with them. Some have returned, but 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 departure of the former president, Charles TAYLOR, to Nigeria in August 2003, the establishment of the all-inclusive Transitional Government, and the arrival of a UN mission have helped defuse the political crisis, but have done little to encourage economic development. Wealthy international donors, who are ready to assist reconstruction efforts, are withholding funding until Liberia's National Assembly signs onto a Governance and Economic Management Action Plan (GEMAP). The Plan was created in October 2005 by the International Contact Group for Liberia to help ensure transparent revenue collection and allocation - something that was lacking under the Transitional Government and that has limited Liberia's economic recovery. The reconstruction of infrastructure and the raising of incomes in this ravaged economy will largely depend on generous financial support and technical assistance from donor countries.
Electricity - consumption 473.8 million kWh (2003)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2003)
Electricity - production 509.4 million kWh (2003)
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, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94

signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups indigenous African 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 (2005), 54.906 (2004), 59.379 (2003), 61.754 (2002), 48.583 (2001)
Executive branch chief of state: President Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF (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 6 January 2006); 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 (eligible for a second term); election last held 8 November 2005 (next to be held NA 2011)

election results: Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF elected president; percent of vote, second round - Ellen JOHNSON-SIRLEAF (UP) 59.6%, George WEAH (CDC) 40.4%

note: a UN-brokered cease-fire among warring factions and the Liberian Government resulted in the August 2003 resignation of former president, Charles TAYLOR; a jointly agreed upon replacement, Chairman Gyude BRYANT, assumed office as head of the National Transitional Government on 14 October 2003; free elections were held 11 October 2005, with a runoff election between the two leading candidates on 8 November 2005
Exports 0 kWh (2003)
Exports $910 million f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Exports - commodities rubber, timber, iron, diamonds, cocoa, coffee
Exports - partners Belgium 41.4%, Spain 11.6%, US 9.1%, Malaysia 5.5%, Thailand 4.6%, Poland 4.6%, Germany 4.4% (2005)
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 - composition by sector agriculture: 76.9%

industry: 5.4%

services: 17.7% (2002 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 9.8% (2005 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
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 (2003)
Imports $4.839 billion f.o.b. (2004 est.)
Imports NA bbl/day
Imports - commodities fuels, chemicals, machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods; foodstuffs
Imports - partners South Korea 37.9%, Japan 21.1%, Singapore 14.2%, Croatia 4.7% (2005)
Independence 26 July 1847
Industrial production growth rate NA%
Industries rubber processing, palm oil processing, timber, diamonds
Infant mortality rate total: 155.76 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 171.96 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 139.06 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 15% (2003 est.)
International organization participation ACP, AfDB, AU, ECOWAS, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, NAM, OPCW (signatory), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO
Irrigated land 30 sq km (2003)
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: 3.43%

permanent crops: 1.98%

other: 94.59% (2005)
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; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch bicameral National Assembly consists of the Senate (30 seats - number of seats changed in 11 October 2005 elections; 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 11 October 2005 (next to be held in 2014); House of Representatives - last held 11 October 2005 (next to be held NA 2011)

election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - COTOL 7, NPP 4, CDC 3, LP 3, UP 3, APD 3, other 7; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CDC 15, LP 9, UP 8, COTOL 8, APD 5, NPP 4, other 15

note: the current six-year term for junior senators - those who received the second most votes in the election - is mandated by the Liberian constitution to stagger Senate elections and ensure continuity of government
Life expectancy at birth total population: 39.65 years

male: 37.99 years

female: 41.35 years (2006 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 57.5%

male: 73.3%

female: 41.6% (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: 1,687 ships (1000 GRT or over) 62,522,787 GRT/96,776,521 DWT

by type: barge carrier 3, bulk carrier 322, cargo 83, chemical tanker 199, combination ore/oil 2, container 477, liquefied gas 75, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 1, petroleum tanker 397, refrigerated cargo 76, roll on/roll off 4, specialized tanker 11, vehicle carrier 35

foreign-owned: 1,611 (Argentina 7, Australia 2, Austria 13, Bahamas, The 1, Bermuda 1, Brazil 3, Canada 2, China 35, Croatia 7, Cyprus 3, Denmark 8, Estonia 1, France 3, Germany 587, Greece 267, Hong Kong 37, India 3, Indonesia 1, Isle of Man 5, Israel 5, Italy 16, Japan 102, South Korea 3, Kuwait 1, Latvia 14, Lebanon 2, Mexico 1, Monaco 10, Netherlands 29, Norway 38, Poland 14, Qatar 2, Russia 77, Saudi Arabia 24, Singapore 28, Slovenia 2, Sweden 8, Switzerland 7, Taiwan 69, Turkey 1, UAE 18, UK 41, Ukraine 16, Uruguay 3, US 93, unknown 1) (2006)
Military branches Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL): Army, Navy, Air Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $67.4 million (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 7.5% (2005 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 27.39 migrant(s)/1,000 population

note: at least 238,500 Liberian refugees are in surrounding countries; the uncertain security situation has hindered their ability to return (2006 est.)
Political parties and leaders Alliance for Peace and Democracy or APD [Togba-na TIPOTEH]; Coalition for the Transformation of Liberia or COTOL; Congress for Democratic Change or CDC [George WEAH]; Liberian Action Party or LAP [H. Varney SHERMAN]; Liberty Party or LP [Charles BRUMSKINE]; National Patriotic Party or NPP [Cyril ALLEN]; Unity Party or UP [Charles CLARKE]
Political pressure groups and leaders NA
Population 3,042,004 (July 2006 est.)
Population below poverty line 80%
Population growth rate 4.91% (2006 est.)
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: railway is inoperable because of damage suffered during the civil war (2005)
Religions indigenous beliefs 40%, Christian 40%, Muslim 20%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.03 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 0.98 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: the limited services available are found almost exclusively in the capital Monrovia

domestic: fully automatic system with very low density of .23 fixed main lines per 100 persons; limited wireless service available

international: country code - 231; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 6,900 (2002)
Telephones - mobile cellular 160,000 (2005)
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 6.02 children born/woman (2006 est.)
Unemployment rate 85% (2003 est.)
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