UNHCR continues with the registration exercise to update program database and information on refugees in Liberia. The Registration Team recently completed the registration of the Ivorian caseload in Saclepea and has commenced the exercise in Harper, Maryland County. The documentation exercise is part of efforts of UNHCR to develop a common database globally where information can be easily accessed. It also is aimed to identify refugees and issue them identification card to enhance protection of the refugee population.
The first phase of the profiling exercise was carried out in the Monrovia area and targeted the remaining 2,715 Sierra Leonean refugees in the three former refugee camps near Monrovia and 98 urban refugees of different nationalities who live in the capital. The team will also conduct the registration of Ivorian refugees living in border communities.
1st Tripartite Commission Meeting Held in Guinea
The inaugural session of the Tripartite Commission established under the Tripartite Agreement signed in September 2004 was held in N'Zerekore, Guinea from 13-15 April. The meeting was held to address crucial political and technical issues that affect the repatriation exercise with the aim to enhance greater collaboration and coordination at the regional level. The participants also paid a visit to the Laine and Kuoankan Refugee Camps in Guinea to assess the conditions of the refugees and inform them of developments in Liberia and to encourage them to take advantage of the ongoing voluntary repatriation operation. The need for "go and see visits" for leaders of the Liberian refugee community in Guinea to see for themselves the reality of events in the areas of return was underscored. UNHCR in collaboration with the Governments of Guinea and Liberia agreed to organize such an activity. Representatives of the Governments of Guinea and Liberia and UNHCR (Guinea and Liberia) attended the meeting.
UNHCR Holds Series of Training Workshops on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse
A series of training workshops has commenced for UNHCR staff at the branch and Field offices. The training focuses on the Secretary General's Bulletin On Special Measures for the Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse. The workshop is aimed to create awareness of the Secretary General's message and to sensitize on the need to take action to prevent Sexual exploitation and abuse. It is anticipated that at the end of the training, focal points will be identified at the field level for proper coordination. Copies of the SGBV Guideline, and the Bulletin are made available to staff members.
In another development, A team of UNHCR medical staff from Geneva and the regional office in Accra visited Liberia to assess the medical needs of staff and provide available vaccines to staff particularly those in the Sub/Field Offices. The team visited areas where UNHCR offices and operations are concentrated.
Donor Missions Visit Liberia
Two donor missions from Germany (BMZ) and Spain, EcA (España con ACNUR) were guests of UNHCR. The mission from the German Development Ministry assessed the GTZ co-funding activities while the private Spanish donors focused on reintegration activities (CEPs) in the areas of water, sanitation, and income generation activities/CEPs, reconstruction of schools/health centers. The EcA (España con ACNUR) has decided to direct part of their 2005 contributions towards the reintegration programmes of Liberia.
In Nimba County, the Tonglaywin and Graie Public Schools along with other water and sanitation projects have been turned over to the communities in Nimba County. The Liberia United to Serve Humanity (LUSH), and International Rescue Committee (IRC) implemented the projects funded by UNHCR. A clinic also renovated by UNHCR is in operation in Grand Cape Mount County. AHA carried out the renovation work.
In Bong County, UNHCR organized a meeting with five of its implementing partners to assess progress made and to establish common approach for the way forward. Those concern were Africa Concern International, Smile Africa, and Liberians United to Serve Humanity, DEN-L and NRC as well as the government partner, LRRRC. Also in Bong, discussions took place between UNHCR and the Community Health Department at Phebe Hospital to discuss plans on HIV/AIDS awareness using drama, dances, songs and visuals.