The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) announced on 01 March 2022 the signing of the Letter of Understanding for Joint Action by the two agencies, in order to maximize the synergies between their respective technical and management capacities, availability of resources and response capacities in Liberia before, during and after refugee emergency operations.
The agreement aims to work with the Government of Liberia to assure that the needs of refugees, and the host communities, including children, are adequately reflected in relevant humanitarian and development programmes and advocate for their inclusion in national services and development plans.
In addition, the two agencies have pledged to strengthen the protection space to provide assistance for children on the move, including through bringing services closer to communities in need, working closely with local authorities and advocating for their inclusion in national systems and plans, including birth registration.
Refugee women and children constitute the majority of Ivorian refugees in Liberia, many of whom are currently returning home following the normalization of the situation in their country of origin. UNHCR and UNICEF will work with the government to guarantee the rights of those who opt to remain in Liberia by ensuring their inclusion in national programmes and access to social services.
The Letter of Understanding was signed on 01 March, a moment to mark Zero Discrimination Day in Liberia, where nations globally celebrate the right of everyone to live a full and productive life and in dignity. “It is an opportunity to highlight how everyone can be a part of the transformation and take a stand towards a more fair and just society here in Liberia,” the Representatives of UNHCR and UNICEF shared in a joint statement.
“Whoever she is. Wherever he lives. Wherever they are from. Every child deserves a childhood, a future, a fair chance and that is why we are here, and we never give up,” the UNICEF Representative, Ms. Laila O. Gad reaffirmed.
The UNHCR Representative, Ms. Roseline Okoro said, “The Joint Action is in consonance with UNHCR’s Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Ivorian refugees as UNHCR and the Government of Liberia pursue durable solutions for the refugees, including voluntary repatriation and local integration. The Joint Action has been signed at a time when all efforts are geared towards attaining the solutions within the agreed timelines of the Comprehensive Solutions Strategy”
UNHCR and UNICEF have a long history of effective and demonstrated collaboration in humanitarian action and that the effective and predictable partnership leads to better results for populations of concern.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.
We help save lives and build better futures for millions of people forced from home. We work to ensure that everybody has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge, having fled violence, persecution, war or disaster at home. For more information, about UNHCR and its work, visit: www.unhcr.org
Isabell Oniyama, UNHCR Liberia, +231 (0) 777 550834, firstname.lastname@example.org Kelvin Sentala, UNHCR Liberia, +231 (0) 880 418439, email@example.com
Musu DeShield Mitchell, Communication for Development Specialist
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Mostafa Omar, Communication Specialist
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