UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom visits Liberia
16-20 March 2015, Liberia | UNICEF Photo - Jallanzo
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Orlando Bloom travelled to Liberia to review ongoing UNICEF programme support in response to Ebola virus disease (EVD), which continues to affect the country, and to draw attention to the need for continued support to rebuild critical health, education and other essential services that have been disrupted in the crisis. Liberia is among countries in West Africa affected by the worst outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history. More than 2 million children have been affected by the outbreak, and hundreds of them have died, lost parents or primary caregivers and other close family members and consequently are in need of psychosocial support. Over 2,650 children have been orphaned by EVD. Mr. Bloom visited Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties, where he met with UNICEF-supported social mobilizers, including adolescents using innovative SMS (Short Message Service) messages to raise awareness about Ebola; students and teachers, Ebola survivors and families affected by EVD; families benefiting from a Social Cash Transfer Programme; religious leaders; and other community members. Mr. Bloom also participated in door-to-door social mobilization activities and visited a community care centre, and met with girls participating in an adolescent empowerment programme, government officials and UNICEF staff during his five-day visit. UNICEF remains at the forefront of efforts to respond to and help curtail the outbreak. Working with the Government, communities and other partners, UNICEF continues to provide vital support across multiple sectors, including efforts to raise awareness of the disease and effect behavioural changes that help halt its spread; and health and nutrition; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); child protection; and education interventions.