Bush pledges help for Liberia as he concludes five-country tour of Africa

US President George W. Bush offered encouragement and help to lift this shattered country from years of ruinous fighting as he concluded a tour of Africa and turned toward other global problems. In Liberia, the final stop on Bush's five-country trip, almost nothing works and people are nervous about their future in the aftermath of a 14-year civil war that ended in 2003. The country is overrun with weapons, malnutrition is pervasive, half of children are not in school, and many buildings are uninhabitable. There is little running water or electricity and no sewage or landline phone system. "It's easier to tear a country down than it is to rebuild a country," Bush said Thursday. "And the people of this good country must understand the United States will stand with you as you rebuild your country." Though Bush's entourage was a bit jittery about his seven-hour stopover, Liberia's president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, declared at one point, "You're safe."