- As refugee return programme nears end, more refugees still remain outside of Liberia
- Funding difficulties prompts closure of IMC programmes in central Liberia
- Liberia receives US$ 28.2 million to date for humanitarian and related activities
1. ASSESSMENTS / MISSIONS / EMERGENCY RESPONSES
CHAP 2007 funding update
The total funding to the Liberia 2007 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) as of 3 June remained unchanged at US$ 18.6 million, or 15.9% of the total requirements (US$ 117 million). Meanwhile, funding for activities not included in CHAP 2007 reached US$ 9.6 million during the same period. This brings the total funding in 2007 for humanitarian and recovery activities in Liberia to over US$ 28.2 million.
2. RETURN & RESETTLEMENT
279 refugees return from Sierra Leone
On 30 May 2007, 279 Liberian refugees returned home from Sierra Leone. The returnees comprised 92 families, and arrived in Liberia via the Bo-Waterside border in Grand Cape Mount County, in western Liberia.
UNHCR reported that by May 31, 2007 it had facilitated the voluntary return of 99,491 Liberian refugees from neighbouring countries in West Africa and other parts of the world. It also estimates that 83,741 Liberian refugees are yet to return home, with the bulk of them in Ghana (29%) and Cote d'Ivoire (27%). The official end date for the voluntary repatriation programme is 30 June 2007.
Funding difficulties prompts closure of IMC programmes in central Liberia
International Medical Corps announced the closure of its health support programme in Bong County by end of June because of funding difficulties. The UNHCR funding that the NGO used to operate health centres and supports health care delivery in Jorquelleh and Panta-Kpai districts in the county is expected to end in June 2007.
Update on support to health sector in Grand Cape Mount County
International Medical Corps (IMC) has received USAID funding to operate ten clinics in Grand Cape Mount County for one year, beginning in June 2007. The clinics were previously run by World Vision International, which withdrew in March 2007 due to funding difficulties.
Medical Teams International (MTI) donated six motorcycles to the five clinics that it supports, and one motorcycle to the County Health Team, in Grand Cape Mount County. It will also provide a one-year maintenance package for the motorcycles.
The County Health Team (CHT) reported that it has chlorinated 66 wells in three districts in the county. It is also conducting water and sanitation training in local communities in the district. According to the CHT, there are 251 hand pumps and wells in various states of functionality in the five districts of the county.
MTI is training 20 health promoters on the five interventions of the child survivor programme: malaria, immunization, diarrhoea, nutrition and pneumonia. The graduates will in turn train household members in their communities.
4. FOOD SECURITY & LIVELIHOODS
9,000 returnees receive FAO seed rice in Lofa County
FAO has distributed 225 MT of seed rice to some 9,000 returnees in Foya, Zorzor and Kolahun districts in Lofa County for the current farming season. An additional 4,000 returnees will receive 125 MT of seed rice in Salayea, Kolahun and Foya Districts ahead of the start of the planting season.
Access to seed rice is a major concern for the local farmers. Recently, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) provided funds to FAO for the emergency distribution of seed rice to vulnerable farmers in the country.
During the week, WFP and its partners provided 1,500 MT of food to some 98,000 beneficiaries in its food aid programmes in Liberia. Schoolchildren continued to be the largest recipient of the food programme - 77,936 of them received over 1,000 MT of food for hot lunches. Other categories of beneficiaries included returnees, refugees, vulnerable and critically ill persons.
Update on education sector in Bong County
Local response to the Government of Liberia's free primary education policy in Bong County has led to an increase in school enrolment but produced the undesirable side effect of overcrowding. The current low number of schools, inadequate school facilities and low number of qualified teachers in the county cannot seem to cope with the demand for free primary education.
The NGO Christian Children's Fund, which has constructed a school, two hand pumps and two latrines in Fenutoli in Suakoko District, has expressed concern that unpaid public school teachers in schools constructed or rehabilitated by NGOs are requesting the NGOs to pay them. Another NGO, Save the Children - UK has distributed 351 uniforms and provided furniture for five schools in Bong County.
6. SHELTER & INFRASTRUCTURE
UNDP funds 13 projects in River Gee County
UNDP through its Community-based Recovery Programme is funding 13 infrastructure projects in River Gee County. Eight of the projects have already started, and the remainder are due to start soon. The projects include market and secondary school construction among others. Many residents in River Gee County lack access to many basic social facilities, and the local infrastructure is poor. The county is one of the underserved areas in Liberia.