Liberia

Liberia: UNMIL Humanitarian Situation Report No. 16

Source
Posted
Originally published
1 - 11 July 2005

A. General Situation

Highlights

- Executive Director of the African Futures Institute will be on mission Liberia from 12 -- 17 July

- The second shipment of drugs and medical supplies for malaria treatment has arrived in Liberia.

UNDP has supported five Liberians representing civil society and academia to attend a Tot workshop on Leadership Development in Kitwe, Zambia from June 27 - July 8th under the framework of the UNDP-UNESCO Joint project Foundation for Africa Future Leadership Programme. Funding was provided by UNDP and UN University of Peace (Africa Programme) in Geneva.

Mr. Luigi Tessiore, Decentralization and Local Governance Policy Advisor with UNDP West and Central Africa Office SURF Specialist facilitated a mini-workshop on June 16th to discuss decentralization as an option for local governance. Participants were drawn from Governance Reform Commission, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Planning as well as UNDP. It was agreed at this meeting that a workshop will be convened with superintendents and other local governance officials to discuss decentralization as an option for local governance in post war Liberia and develop consensus on the he way forward.

Mr. Alioune Sall, Executive Director of the African Futures Institute will be on mission Liberia from July 12 - 17. The objective of the mission is to hold consultation with the Governance Reform Commission and other stakeholders with a view of charting out an operational framework for the formulation of a long-term vision for Liberia.

UNDP also made a donation of furniture and stationary to the Ministry of Internal Affairs during the reporting period.

Global Fund/HIV AIDS

The second shipment of drugs and medical supplies for malaria treatment has arrived in Liberia. A supply of drugs for the treatment of 369 HIV positive patients that are currently on treatment in the country was also received. 15 motorcycles were purchased for implementing partners of the Global Fund projects which will be distributed soon.

A meeting was recently held with the County health teams and County superintendents of all 15 Counties to sensitize them on the implementation of the Global Fund projects. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Monrovia.

The Liberia Malaria Indicator Survey is ongoing throughout the country. The ARV protocols and guidelines have been developed, finalized and adopted for country use.

There will be 4 regional youth meetings held simultaneously July 21-23, 2005, results of which will be fed into the substantive elements for the pending national conference.

The National Youth Consultative meeting is slated for August 6-10, 2005 which should result in the development of a National Youth Policy.

Environment

UNDP's environment unit has developed a concept document for the State of the Environment Report. UNDP also took part in a working meeting of stakeholders to discuss an action plan for the evacuation of illegal occupants in Sapo National Park. The Agency has also transferred IT-equipment from the NBSAP project to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Community Based recovery (CBR)

Four additional micro projects are completed in Grand Cape Mount County. In Jundu, Bamballah, Gohn-Zoedua and Zimi safe drinking water wells (equipped with hand pumps) and VIP latrines were provided. These micro projects were jointly funded by UNDP and BPRM.

The CBR-team established 2 community credit units (CCU) in Bong County. It also organized a Training of trainers (TOT) workshop in Gbarnga for CCUs from 7 districts in Bong County on 30 June. A meeting was held with UNDP CSO advisory committee and recommended actions to strengthen partnerships with CSOs

B. HUMANITARIAN ACTIVITIES

Internally Displaced Persons

As of the 4 July 2005, a total of 187,382 IDPs has received return assistance, representing 36,423 families.

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 assess 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, and HCS 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.

Protection -- Montserrado

Responding to a report that a landowner was demolishing huts in Catholic Compound (Spontaneous Settlement), LRRRC, ARC and 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. LRRRC is in discussion with the landowners.

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 continued during the reporting period. Cumulatively, a total of 1,667 IDPs representing 306 households received their food items, and a population of 750 representing 100 households has received their NFIs.

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.

IDP returnee monitoring

The HCS IDP unit together with colleagues from UNHCR Protection Unit and LRRRC made a trip 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 and 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 down.

Education

UNICEF has delivered 282 IKEA Norden tables to education offices and schools in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount Counties. Each county office received 60 tables while 78 tables were given to schools in Grand Mount and 84 tables went to schools in Bomi. UNICEF also delivered primary school textbooks covering the four core subject areas to 25 schools in the two counties. The textbooks are part of the supply package UNICEF offers schools that are part of the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP). ALP condenses six years of primary schooling into three years of intensive activities, enabling children to make up for lost educational years. Additional textbooks were given to ALP schools in Bomi and Grand Cape Mount County.

Health

The UNICEF/WHO supported Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) Survey has been completed. The survey results demonstrate that immunization performance is low in terms of coverage -- while the quality of services is good. In addition, drop out rates between the first doses given to children and subsequent administrations are high, meaning that service delivery must be improved and more attention given to social mobilization efforts for mothers and caregivers so every Liberian family recognizes the importance of vaccinating children.

UNICEF supported safe motherhood training of 60 mid-level health workers in maternal care services. The training is the second in the series of training planned for 250 mid-level health workers in 9 counties this year. The training improves the knowledge and skills of basic emergency obstetric care service providers in rural areas.

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Promotion

UNICEF is providing support to the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation (LWSC) to re-commission one desludging truck. The truck will help the MCC desludge sewage system in Monrovia in the wake of the cholera emergency in Monrovia.

UNICEF has provided support to the Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Health to undertake water quality tests in Congo town, Logan town, New Kru town, Central Monrovia, Vai Town and Paynesville. 54 water points comprising 14 open wells, 37 hand pump facilities and 3 LWSC supplied water points, were tested and 30 were found to have faecal contamination. The contaminated sources were 11 open wells, 18 hand pumps and 1 LWSC supplied water point. UNICEF has supplied the Ministry of Health chlorine to treat the hand pumps.

UNICEF facilitated a review meeting with local NGOs implementing hygiene promotion activities to review their activities in view of the cholera situation in the county. In a follow-up to the review meeting, the following issues are being addressed in the different forums on hygiene: revisions of documents related to policies and standards in relation to hygiene; re-establishments of hygiene promotion network; active monitoring of the activities of NGOs by the Ministry of Health; and the strengthening of the Public Health rules by MOH in relation to food vending.

Meanwhile, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health are disseminating hygiene messages through radio and interpersonal channels. UNMIL Radio and the UNICEF supported Facts for Life radio program which is broadcast on four radio stations are disseminating diarrhea prevention and control messages daily. UNICEF has also distributed hygiene and sanitation messages to five schools in Nimba, County.

UNICEF supplied 45 kg of chlorine to MSF Belgium for use by the Cholera Treatment Unit and other MSF Belgium run clinics.

UNICEF conducted follow-up hygiene promotion training for 10 of its implementing partners. Thirty-two trainees from the 10 partner agencies attended the two-day training exercise, which covers areas in hygiene promotion and social mobilization.

Protection

UNICEF completed a 6-day site inspection to Grand Gedeh, Nimba, and River Gee Counties to identify gaps in the reintegration response for children who were associated with the fighting forces (CAFF) and to monitor education and youth programmes. UNICEF is preparing for an increased social reintegration response in these areas of northern and northeastern Liberia, including expanding the Community Education Investment Programme (CEIP) and working to strengthen skills training, youth groups, community support networks, as well as border monitoring.

Sixty-six schools have begun implementing UNICEF's Community Education Programme (CEIP) in Nimba County. The schools have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that defines the roles and responsibilities of communities, schools, and child protection agencies in implementing CEIP and taking led roles in the reintegration of demobilized children. CEIP is a reintegration program that provides CAFFs with a primary school education. CEIP is a cornerstone of UNICEF's reintegration approach and supports schools and communities as they contribute to each child's reintegration as peaceful and productive citizens.

Human Rights and Protection

A research project on traditional forms of reconciliation is being explored in UNDP. The project which aims to identify the different ways in which conflicts are resolved at ethnic and community levels is in support to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. RECEIVE, a national research oriented NGO, was selected to implement this project on behalf of UNDP.

In observance of the UN International Day against Torture, UNDP continued with capacity building support to national human rights groups, in particular to the Prisoner's Assistance Programme.

With the passage of the TRC Act, a number of institutions, UNMIL, UNDP, ECOWAS, USAID towards the setting up of the TRC. This allows for the actual setting up and functioning of the TRC in the next three months following the Act. One main activity concerns the re-selection of the commissioners to head the TRC. As stipulated in the Act, ECOWAS takes the lead and UNDP will provide technical and financial support in a series of meetings and discussions that will lead to the constitution of a selection panel to finally re-select the TRC commissioners.

UNDP's human rights and protection section collaborated with UNMIL gender section, the Ministry of Gender and Development, the Ministry of Internal Affaires, the association of Female Lawyers and the GBV working group to participate in the launch of the national campaign on violence against women.

Attendance certificates were given to over 50 national human rights workers who had completed a UNDP supported basic human rights training programme. Training had also been provided on a range of human rights issues including general human rights, gender, child protection, child protection, IDP protection and refugee laws and international humanitarian standards. Facilitation was by UN partners, international and national NGOs and the NTGL.

The Joint Monitoring Team (JMT) also visited Tubmanburg, Bomi County and Careysburg, Crozerville, Bensonville, and Whiteplains for human rights and protection monitoring mission.

Agriculture

Liberian farmers and fisher folks have been called upon to maximize the utilization of the opportunity being provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to sustain them and improve their livelihoods. FAO Resident Representative Mr. Subramaniam Thirugnanasambanthar made the call recently at the start of a four-day Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop in Basic knowledge of fishing techniques and small business management held in Monrovia.

"FAO, as lead agency for agriculture forestry, fisheries and livestock is here to help you improve and develop your food situation that would eventually lead to ensuring household and national food security," the FAO representative told the participants at the workshop. The workshop is being held under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and FAO

In support of the war-affected fishing communities in Liberia, FAO has implemented four (4) emergency projects in Liberia since 1997. The fourth being implemented currently, titled, "Emergency Support to the Rehabilitation of Artisanal Fisheries in Montserrado, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Bassa Counties" is being funded under FAO's Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP). So far, the project has assisted 1,927 fisher-folks with fishing Inputs (nets and accessories), in three counties including Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and Grand Bassa. Small fishing kilns to help fisherwomen dry their fish for the market are now being built in some of these communities.

COORDINATION

Humanitarian InformationCentre

Data available:

New Cholera Reports

Mapping:

Updated Map, Who What Where in Wat/San
Updated Map, Who What Where in Health
New Map, Wat/San Activity Tracking by Donor Funding

The HIC has brought on board new members of staff, two Field Information Officers and one data clerk. This will support their efforts in identifying gaps particularly in the Field and suggest interventions to be undertaken by the humanitarian community.

Field Coordination

Zwedru

On 30 June 05, HCS facilitated the monthly Humanitarian Coordination forum. A 2 day SGBV workshop was facilitated by UNHCR, UNMIL/ Human Rights Section, JPC, ICRC, Ministry of Gender, SC-UK for 80 participants from the local authorities, UN agencies, INGOs and CBOs was held. The workshop created awareness on how to prevent and treat SGBV cases. Main topics discussed were: Family Tracing, International Humanitarian Law, Refugee, Returnees and IDPs Protection, Child Protection and the legal system of Liberia.

CARITAS supported by UNHCR provided farming assistance (cutlasses, files, hoes, shovels, rain boats, rakes and seed rice) to some 1,000 Ivorian Refugee farmers in Toe, Tian, Senniwein, Zleh, Duogees, Pouh, B'hai, Jarzon and Bewede Towns in Gbarzon District.

FAO tools and seeds distribution under the Liberia Agriculture Reintegration Project to Gbarzon District commenced on 30 June while Konobo District has already been completed.

HCS participated in the ceremony on the handing over of 91 plots (9 acres) of swamp to community farmers for the local group-BLEDISHAP.

A medical doctor has arrived in Zwedru to complement Merlin's capacity. With the increase of returnees to the County, the hospital is striving to meet the health needs of the County. There is also a need for trained health personnel at the 11 operational clinics in the County.

Merlin has recently conducted a workshop for 43 Traditional Midwives from Tchien, Konobo and Gbarzon Districts to increase their capacity. One expected output it is hoped that the Midwives will be able to identify risks and immediately make referrals to the hospital. Merlin has also increased its ambulance services from one to two vehicles, staffing, drugs and medical supplies to improve the referral system. The ambulance schedule for visiting the local towns and villages has been distributed to agencies and communities.

The Education WG met on 5 July to identify projects undertaken by each agency in order to avoid duplication and identify gaps. As well as to see how best they can consolidate efforts to meet the needs of the targeted population and increase the impact on communities. The group worked with the updated roster of schools in the county and their various work plans. SC-UK listed schools targeted for ALP program that they will soon rehabilitate, provide furniture, instructional materials and pay monthly incentives to teachers and principals. The WG also listed 8 Community Education Investment Program (CEIP) to provide furniture only. The UNDP and UNHCR have shown interest in the rehabilitation of these schools to complement the existing exercise. COMCARE with support from UNICEF has committed to provide latrines, pumps and garbage pits to 14 schools including those schools targeted by SC-UK.

An ad hoc meeting was proposed for mid July 05 between the major partners (UNDP,UNHCR, SC-UK, WFP and COMCARE), MOE and HCS to discuss technical aspects on designating the remaining schools to partners as well as obtaining commitment and MOUs at the local level.

Some 306 Returnees (128 male, 178 female, under age 5 -59, vulnerable 89 and family size -135) from Guiglo, Ivory Coast were on 5 July 05 repatriated to Liberia via UNHCR convoy. Eighty two percent of this number is concentrated for Tappitta, Nimba County while the other civilians will be reintegrated in Grand Gedeh.

Tubmanburg

At the Grand Cape Mount in Senje, HCS is co-chaired the Humanitarian Coordination Forum and the following were highlighted as the main issues: Increase in diarrhea cases and the need for hygiene promotion and community health education activities; rehabilitation and chlorination of wells; low incentives for health workers are resulting in a lack of staff; lack of functioning health facilities due to lack of funding and strategies for ensuring sustainability; critical lack of health facilities in Kongo and Kawilahun areas. It was also discussed that in the area beyond Bamballa there are no Water and Sanitation facilities and no NGO is currently operating there. The main bridge has been fixed, the area is now accessible and there are an increasing number of returnees, UNHCR will hopes to do an assessment soon.

Voinjama

On June 30 HCS facilitated and co-chaired the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Coordination Meeting (HCM) during which the UNMIL Security Reporting Officer highlighted the recent increase in crime rate in Voinjama City. A meeting was also held with CEO and information was collected on the categories of schools that are being renovated and currently under rehabilitation and those to be rehabilitated soon.

A meeting took place with the officers of the magisterial court in which it was highlighted that the Voinjama prison compound needs rehabilitation, basic facilities and professional correction officers.

Information was collected on health facilities that are renovated, to be rehabilitated and under rehabilitation from the CHT.

Harper

During the previous week, the Water and Sanitation, Road rehabilitation, Agriculture and Education SWGs held their meetings. The results are as follows.

In the WATSAN meeting a format is to be developed that will be used for the Who is doing what where matrix. Two Task Forces formed to deliberate the way forward for Watsan technical issues and Hygiene promotion. The two TFs have held their meetings and will give reports in the next SWG meeting.

At the Road Rehabilitation meeting it was decided that HCS will assist with putting together a matrix of who is doing what where after Agencies send in their planned activities. A Task Force was identified to draft TORs and share the draft with the SWG in the next meeting.

In the Agricultural meeting there was a collection and consolidation of assessment reports which is on-going. HCS was requested to assist with putting together a draft matrix of who is doing what where for review in the next meeting.

At the Education meeting draft TORs were reviewed and adopted. There is a need to get copies of standard designs for school construction from the MOE. There is also a need for a strong lead agency in the education sector to give the SWG needed technical support.

Emergency Relief Fund (ERF)

The ERF Team is now heavily occupied with closure of emergency projects being implemented under the program. This is in preparation of the closure of the ERF offices come July 31, 2005.

About 15 projects out of the 26 projects approved under the program have been closed. The remaining 11 are on the verge of closure on or before the end of July.

For further information please write to:

Rosemary Musumba
Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer
Humanitarian Coordination Section - UNMIL
Mamba Point, Monrovia, Liberia
Email: musumbar@un.org