To date, IOM has registered more than 16,000 vulnerable IDPs, such as women-headed households, unaccompanied minors and the elderly and has provided return assistance to more than 6,500, mostly to the southern part of Lofa County, Bomi and Gbarpolu Counties.
"The rainy season is seriously hampering the return operation," says Olivier Bousquet, IOM's Chief of Mission in Monrovia. "Large areas in the north of the country remain inaccessible. The main challenge is to continue providing assistance to vulnerable returnees in their area of return. IOM is working with the UN and NGOs such as Handicap International and Save the Children to ensure they continue to have access to health centres".
IOM provides pre-departure medical check-ups and transportation to their home villages. Each returnee family receives resettlement assistance consisting of food rations for two months from WFP and a reintegration kit containing blankets, sleeping mats, a cooking set, a tarpaulin and soap from UNHCR. Returnees will also receive seeds and tools to help them restart farming.
The current return operation, carried out in cooperation with UN agencies, is funded by the European Commission's humanitarian aid office ECHO.
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