IDP return in Liberia - Update 23

1. Status of Return

As of the 4 July 2005, a total of 187,382 IDPs has received return assistance, representing 36,423 families. Please find the various categories detailed below.

2. Field Movement

Figures and Categories
Type of Assistance Provided
43,426 facilitated by IOM from the 8 November 2004 through 17 March 2005
This group of IDPs received transport assistance from IOM to the transit or assistance from IOM to the transit or distribution center closer to their area of return and has also received secondary transport allowance along with their 2 months initial WFP food ration and non food items
45,279 spontaneously returned to their county/ district of return
These IDPs received their return assistance, secondary transport allowance, food and non food items through their family head while they traveled ahead with their families to their communities of return.
98,677 accelerated movement phase of the returning beginning the 11 of March 2005 through 4 July 2005
This category of IDPs received their primary and secondary transport assistance along with the two months food ration from WFP and NFIs from UNHCR through their implementing partners.
Over 6,000 Vulnerable IDPs that are transported by IOM
These vulnerable IDPs were transported to the nearest drop-off point to their destination and provided with secondary transportation allowance, food and non-food items. The figure indicated herein is cumulative as per the accelerated movement.
187,382 This figure represents IDPs assisted to resettle to their respective communities
These IDPs have received all their return assistance

3. Task Force on Camp Closure and Consolidation

With the IDPs leaving the camps and several camps already emptied and funding to camp management partners being reduced the need to asses the camps is widely recognized as needed. Over the last month the Task Force on Camp Closure and Consolidation (TF) has been working to assess the most optimum option of closing/consolidation environmentally and repairing camps vacated by departing IDPs. The Task Force is chaired by the governmental body; Liberia Refugee, Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC). They are mainly working in camp management, child protection and providing services in camps. Members of the Task Force are UNICEF, OXFAM, ARC, NRC, Save the Children UK, EPA, Forestry Development Authority, UNEP, IDP Unit.

This week the Task Force, divided into three teams, visited the IDP Camps and Spontaneous Settlement in Liberia, all together 35 sites. Each team had Representatives from LRRRC, IDP Unit, protection, water/sanitation, environment and health. Each team did a technical assessment which included obtain information regarding basic services such as water and sanitation, health, education, environment, camp management. The substantive assessment included general issues like location of the camp, current population or residual populations in the camps, land use before the camp was established, landowner issues, nearby communities. Based on information obtained during the assessment the Task Force will submit a recommendation for the consideration of the IDP Consultative Forum (ICF) and the Liberian Authorities in the up coming weeks.

4. Protection - Montserrado

Responding to a report that a landowner was demolishing huts in Catholic Compound (Spontaneous Settlement), ARC and LRRRC the IDP Unit went to the site on 8 July 2005. Upon arrival the representatives were informed that one of the landowners had demolished 12 huts, however this was reduced to 11 huts, but it could only be verified that about 6 or 7 huts had been demolished recently.

Upon closer scrutiny it turned out that the land owner had left the surrounding huts standing. The second land owner claimed that the time that he had agreed for the IDPs to stay on his land, was over and he now would ask the IDPs to move. It was further explained by both the landowners and the IDPs that the establishment of the camp was done as a private arrangement between them. The IDPs themselves expressed that they indeed was very grateful to the landowners for hosting them for several years now and that they had never paid for occupying the land.

The IDPs that were living in the huts that were demolished are now staying with other IDPs or in other huts in the settlement. It was agreed that the IDPs could stay on the land, for now; nonetheless the LRRRC will continue to discuss the issue with the landowners next week. The team observed that many huts were abandoned, but still standing and several of the IDPs informed the team that some of the IDPs were not living in the settlement, but only returned during food distribution.

During the visit, the team found a child in the settlement that needed medical attention, it was also unclear if the women that took care of the child are the mother. The case was reported to UNICEF and ARC and the IDP unit are now following up the case to ensure that the child receives medical assistance, and to find out if this is a 'separated child'.

5. Monitoring Return areas - Bong

See separate detailed note attached

6. Focus on Bong County IDP Camps

The repatriation exercise has been in progress in the three Maimu camps during the period under review as IDPs who have received their return package continue to leave the camps. Distribution of food and non food items has been going on in Maimu II. Distribution of return assistance was briefly disrupted due to the heavy downpour of rain on 4 July, 2005 and a security concern in Bong County on 6 July. However, distribution of return assistance continues during the reporting period. Cumulatively, during the reporting period a total of 1,667 IDPs representing 306 households have received their food items, and a population of 750 representing 100 households has received their NFIs.

7. Trucking of Vulnerable IDPs

During the reporting period registration and trucking of vulnerable IDPs continues in the Montserrado and Bong camps by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) As of the 7 July 2005, ( IOM) had registered a total of 13,800 vulnerable IDPs and transported over 6,000 to their area of return.

8. IDP returnee monitoring

Together with colleagues from UNHCR Protection Unit and LRRRC a trip was made to Fuamah district, Bong County to monitor IDPs who have returned to their district in order to access their general conditions. The team met and interviewed some IDPs who have not yet been assisted to be repatriated and who have family members still living in the camps but had come to build their shelter in anticipation of repatriation. They reported being happy to be back to their homes, have not experienced any problems on the way or since they came back and are eagerly waiting to receive their assistance package so that they can finally resettle.

9. Staff Deployment

The three newly arrived international staff member seconded from the NRC through UNHCR to the IDP Unit will be deployed to the field early next week. Two of the staff members will be based in Voinjama and the other will be based in Tubmanburg.

IDP Unit - 9 July, 2005


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit