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Government and UN Launch $36.7 Million Joint Humanitarian Appeal for Liberia

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Monrovia, 19 February 2013 - The Government of Liberia and the United Nations appealed for nearly US$ 37 million today to meet the pressing humanitarian needs of Liberia’s most vulnerable communities during 2013. The UN “Critical Humanitarian Gaps (CHG) 2013 humanitarian response plan” aims to provide vital humanitarian assistance to over half a million people at risk, including nearly 117,000 children.

Liberia continues to face significant humanitarian challenges. Nearly half of Liberia’s population lives in extreme poverty surviving on less than US$ 1 per day. More than 64,000 Ivorian refugees remain in Liberia since post-election violence in Côte d’Ivoire forced them to flee and 25,000 former Liberian refugees who returned home last year continue to need essential humanitarian assistance.

The UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Liberia and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mr Aeneas C. Chuma, said: “We call on donors to support the humanitarian appeal we are launching today. We need nearly US$ 37 million to provide vital water, nutrition, food security and healthcare services to families at risk. Without much needed donor assistance Liberia’s most vulnerable communities will suffer. If donors act now we will be able to reach those communities who need our help the most. ”

The UN CHG 2013 plan focuses primarily on the four-refugee hosting counties in Southeastern Liberia; Nimba, Grand Gedeh, Maryland, and River Gee. Bomi, Grand Kru and Montserado counties will also be a focus for UN assistance under the plan launched today given their poor emergency indicators for food security, water, sanitation and hygiene services.

The CHG 2013 is a humanitarian transition planning tool which aims to consolidate and sustain humanitarian investments made during the emergency phase of the humanitarian crisis brought about by the massive influx of Ivorian refugees in 2010/2011. It aims to address pressing needs of Ivorian refugees and their Liberian hosts in communities in the four-border counties with Côte d’Ivoire, those vulnerable in communities with poor emergency indicators, as well as help repatriate and reintegrate back into Liberian society. As an appeal instrument, the CHG aims to coordinate efforts of participating agencies to appeal for funds cohesively, not competitively.

The 2013 Liberia CHG was prompted by persistent vulnerabilities affecting Liberians and Ivorian refugees in communities as a result of a 62% funding shortfall in the Liberia 2012 Consolidated Appeal (CAP). Acknowledging the development setting under which this particular humanitarian programming is taking place, the CHG participating agencies decided to use Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) standard emergency indicators to prioritize needs and intervention zones.