Liberia: UNMIL Humanitarian Situation Report No. 102

23 - 30 April 2007


- Draft report of Liberia market review circulated

- Update of response to the storm and fire emergencies

- MSF-F pulls out of Foya County

- OFDA pledges continued support to the health sector through World Vision Liberia

- CERF Funding to enhance food security


WFP circulates draft report of Liberia Market Review

WFP has completed the first draft of the Liberia Market Review and circulated it for comments. Aimed at investigating Liberian market dynamics and their impact on food security, the Market Review identifies more than 200 daily and weekly markets in all fifteen counties of Liberia and delineates the major market chains, describing the marketing system in terms of types of markets and marketers, as well as major commodities traded. The Market Review makes recommendations for improving the marketing system and setting up a monitoring and evaluation unit within the food security framework.

National Food Security Strategy for Liberia under development

An international consultant, from the International Food Policy and Research Institute (IFPRI), working in collaboration with a Ministry of Agriculture national consultant, on secondment to WFP, is conducting a second round of consultations and data gathering toward development of a National Food Security Strategy for Liberia. A first draft of the strategy is to be presented and discussed at a National Workshop scheduled for 04 - 05 May 2007. When developed, the National Food Security Strategy will serve as a policy tool for Government planning, budgeting and resource management to ensure both national and household food security. Development of the food security strategy is part of WFP/FAO joint support to the Government of Liberia.

Update on response to the storm & fire emergencies

Despite the good response from the Humanitarian agencies and the Government of Liberia for assistance to the residents affected by the fire and severe storms in Lofa, Nimba and Grand Cape Mount counties, there are still needs that remain unmet. In the Dingidu (Lofa County) storm emergency for example, there is still a need for zinc sheets, as those that have been provided are only enough to cover about half the beneficiaries. In addition to these remaining needs, there are those that existed before the occurrence of the emergencies, such as the provision of safe water and sanitation facilities, which have now become even more important because of the emergency. The Zuani II community (Grand Cape Mount County) for example, still accesses water from the next village across a big river - this access will not be possible after the onset of the rains. Gaps in the Ganta (Nimba County) emergency will become apparent once all pledges have been confirmed and coordinated.


Civic education training for local authorities

A two-day UN-funded Civic Education Training for local authorities concluded on 24 April 2007. The training was implemented by the Liberia Institute of Public Administration (LIPA), with the objective of sensitizing local authorities on their roles and responsibilities in managing recovery and development activities in their counties. The Humanitarian Coordination Section, as co-facilitators of the CST in Bomi, aided the training though logistical support.


World Health Organization (WHO) donates equipment, drugs and medical supplies to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare

The WHO Country Office in Liberia on 26 April 2007 donated three trauma kits, Leprosy drugs, three TV and DVD Sets, 18 chairs, 1,000 guidelines on Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), Laboratory reagents, eight computers and two photocopiers, stationery and one Land Cruiser to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The purpose of the donation was to strengthen the health delivery system in the country with a special focus on surgical and obstetric emergencies in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi and Gbarpolu counties, treatment of Leprosy, scale up of the HIV/AIDS voluntary counseling and testing services in the Catholic, ELWA and Firestone hospitals; improve diagnosis, confirmation and information management on integrated disease surveillance and response. The assistance was also meant to strengthen the Bureau of Planning and Research at the central Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and to facilitate the activities of Onchocerciasis Control Programme in the country.

Lassa fever suspected - WHO

The WHO office in Voinjama reported that a patient admitted to the Kolahun Hospital with suspected Lassa Fever had died. Samples from the patient have been sent to Germany for verification.

MSF-F pulls out of Foya and Kolahun districts

MSF-F has concluded their support to Lofa County and has closed their hospitals in both Foya and Kolahun districts handing over their activities to the Pentecostal Mission Unlimited Inter-life (PMU) and IRC respectively. Staff working with MSF-F Foya did not want to continue their work with PMU because of the low incentives offered by PMU. This transition has left PMU health centre in a critical situation with limited capacity to deal with the patient caseload. As a result, PMU has had to erect four tents donated by MSF-F for inpatients. In addition, the hospital is without water after its well ran dry. Water for sanitation and cleaning is trucked to the hospital.

OFDA pledges further support to World Vision Liberia

OFDA has pledged to continue funding World Vision Liberia to support the 10 clinics that the organization had handed over to the County Health Team after the initial termination of OFDA's support. This pledge was made after a joint USAID/OFDA/CHT assessment of the clinics in Grand Cape Mount and Bomi counties.


CERF Funding to Enhance Food Security across the country

The distribution of seeds to 2,300 farmers in Suehn Mecca, Bomi County, funded through the Central Emergency Funding mechanism, and implemented by Tearfund, has been finalized. Preparations are underway to distribute to another 1,500 farmers in Bomi county

In Lofa County, Concern Worldwide, implementing in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has distributed seed rice to farmers from five of the 18 communities in Zorzor District. UNMIL facilitated the transportation of the seeds. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is carrying out registration of farmers in Vahun for similar support. A total of 9,000 farmers are expected to benefit from a total of 225 MT of seed.


Tearfund hands over projects to communities in Suehn Mecca

Tearfund's activities in Suehn Mecca, Bomi County, included interventions in health, water and sanitation and agriculture. One of the interventions in health involved the provision of public health training to the local communities. As a result, the community has established WATSAN Maintenance Committees, which will maintain the hand pumps as well as ensure sanitation around the hand pumps. On the 27 April 2007, Tearfund handed over 14 new wells, one rehabilitated well, and 164 latrines to the communities.