Gambia + 3 more

Liberia: UNMIL Humanitarian Situation Report No. 151

Situation Report
Originally published
11- 24 August 2008


- Refugee Repatriation Continues

- Second Quarter Integrated Health Services Review

1. Refugee Return and Resettlement:

The voluntary repatriation of Liberian refugees from Ghana and countries of asylum in the sub-region continued. A total of 562 Liberian refugees were repatriated on four UNMIL flights from Ghana. Forty-six Liberian refugees returned from Nigeria on a commercial airline. These movements bring the total number of refugees repatriated since the start of the voluntary return on 13 April to 6,105 (5,624 from Ghana, 257 from Guinea, 216 from Nigeria, 8 from the Gambia).

Since April, UNHCR has not only facilitated the Liberians' return home, but has also assisted returnees to enter the local job market. UNHCR in collaboration with Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) has established a database to record skilled and non-skilled refugees and has shared this collected information with various humanitarian organizations and Government institutions for possible employment.

For example, 16 Returnee Teachers have been recruited by the Ministry of Education and are presently undergoing a Training of Trainers programme . Once completed, they will then be assigned to the Teachers Training Institute as instructors. Another 60 applications from other experienced teachers yet to be repatriated from Ghana are being compiled by UNHCR for review by the Ministry of Education.

2. 108 People Stranded and Rescued at Sea:

On 16 August 2008 a sea vessel with 108 people (98 passengers and 10 crew members) heading for Cape Palmas, Maryland County, developed mechanical problems while at sea and was rescued the next day by a tugboat from the National Port Authority and towed to Monrovia. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, the Liberia National Red Cross Society and World Health Organisation (WHO) were at the Ports to receive, register and tend to the passengers, many of whom were mildly dehydrated and/or had experienced vomiting while on board the vessel.

3. Second Quarter Integrated Health Services Review:

On 18 August 2008, a weeklong second quarter Integrated Health Services Review Conference commenced in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, featuring a dedication ceremony of the newly constructed County Health Conference Centre. The importance of all health workers revisiting the National Health Plan, reviewing past accomplishments, sharing lessons learned and setting priorities in line with the Poverty Reduction Strategy was emphasised. The Legislative Assembly has increased the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare budget as well as the county health budgets. The budget increases will enable the Ministry to maintain health facilities that will be handed over by non-governmental organizations. Participants included superintendents from the 15 counties, international and national NGOs, the UN, and other international agencies and donors.