IDP return in Liberia - Update 15

Situation Report
Originally published
1. Status of Return

From 8th November 2004 a total of 136,055 IDPs had received return assistances, which represents 26,755 families in IDPs camps in the counties of Montserrado and Bong.

2. Field Movements

Figures and Categories
Type of Assistance Provided
43,426 facilitated by IOM from the 8 November 2004 through 17 March 2005 This caseload of IDPs received transport assistance from IOM to the transit/distribution center closer to their area of return and have also received secondary transport allowance along with their 2 months initial food ration and non-food items.
45,279 spontaneously returned to their county/ district of return These IDPs received their return assistance and secondary transport allowance, food and non-food items through their head of household.
47,350 accelerated movement phase of returning beginning the 11th March 2005 through 10th May, 2005 This category of IDPs received their primary and secondary transport assistance along with their 2 months food ration from WFP and non-food items from UNHCR through their implementing partners in their respective camps.
1,298 Vulnerable IDPs has been transported by IOM out of the 2,708 registered since the beginning of this part of the operation. These Vulnerable IDPs were transported to the nearest drop off point in their area of return and provided with secondary transportation allowances, food and non-food items.
136,055 total numbers of IDPs assisted to resettle to their respective communities to date since the operation began. These IDPs have received all their return assistance.

3. Distribution of assistance in the Bong and Montserrado Camps

Distribution of food, non-food items and transportation allowance is now completed at the E.J. Yancy Camp as of the 6th of May 2005. Distribution of food and transportation allowance to eligible IDPs has also been completed at Tumutu Camp in Bong County, whereas the distribution of NFIs is on going. CCC has begun the issuing of transportation allowance for the backlog of cases in both the Montserrado and Bong Camps. This week has seen the opening up of the return process in Unification Town. Distribution of NFIs and food has commenced on 11th May 2005 and will be followed by the disbursement of transportation allowances by ARC. It is hope that this week will be completed in the coming two weeks.

4. Trucking of Vulnerable IDPs

Registration and transportation of vulnerable IDPs continues in Bong County during the reporting period by International Organization for Migration (IOM). As of 8th May 2005, IOM has trucked a total of 1,298 out of 2,708 registered IDPs. Registration of vulnerable IDPs will commence in the Montserrado camps next week.

5. Mass Information Campaign

A survey was conducted in Bong Camps on the 4th and 5th of May 2005 to ascertain the level of awareness among IDPs concerning transit centers in the district of return. Initial findings reveal that despite the massive information campaign launched earlier, only few IDPs reported knowing the transit centers in their counties of return. Several reasons might account for this state of affairs including the fact that the information did not reach all the IDPs or because some IDPs cannot read so may not be able to read the fliers. A most probable explanation might be that, the IDPs were selective (consciously or unconsciously) in the information they retained during the sensitization meetings. This is more so because, they remembered other information given such as, the contents of the return package and the 10 days grace period given them to leave the camps after they receive their package. It seems like the IDPs retained information that was of immediate use to them and since the second ration food was far in the future, this information was not considered important at that time. Again, very few IDPs were interested in receiving their food and NFIs in the county of return so may not find that information useful at the time. The following measures were taken to address the situation:

- More fliers containing the information on location of transit centers have been distributed for dissemination. Unlike the first time when the fliers were only given to camp leadership for further dissemination, this time the fliers were given to block leaders, women leaders and individual IDPs for further dissemination.

- Fliers have been given to the hut verification teams that go from hut to hut so that they can disseminate this information to individual IDPs as they go along.

- Announcements to be made on public address system informing the IDPs of where to collect their second food ration during distribution of the first food ration in the camps.

- Fliers were given to IOM officials who are transporting the vulnerable groups so that they can inform them during the course of transportation.

- Fliers were given to IOM to distribute at the relevant public offices (e.g., LRRRC) in the counties of return such that these offices will know the transit centers in their districts so that they can give the information should they be contacted by IDPs.

- NRC returnee monitors in the various districts of return will be asked to disseminate information on the transit centers to those IDPs and refugees who have already returned.

- Arrangements were made for camp management to regularly go on the local IDP radio station in Maimu I to disseminate information on the location of the transit centers in the counties of return.

- Information on the transit centers will continue to be disseminated on UNMIL and Talking Drums radios through interviews and public services announcements.

- Information on the transit centers will continue to be published in the print media.

Several radio interviews were conducted to disseminate information on the return Process during the reporting period.

- The PI Officer from WFP went on UNMIL Radio and gave information on the commencement of second trench of food distribution for IDPs in Bomi County.

- An Officer from UNICEF Protection unit went on UNMIL Radio to give information on child protection issues especially those that are related to separated and unaccompanied children during the return process.

- Transit centers where IDPs can collect their NFIs and food items as well as second trench food ration have been broadcast on UNMIL Radio. UNMIL Radio will continue to announce these centers.

6. Returnee Monitoring

Returnee monitoring has commenced and a number of IDPs interviewed during the first leg of the monitoring trip to Sanoyea District in Bong County revealed that the IDPs are happy to be back home.

IDP Unit - 05/14/05

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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