Tuesday, 29 March 05, UNHCR today begins a registration exercise to document refugees in Liberia. The documentation exercise will enable UNHCR and the Liberian Government to identify refugees and issue them identification card to enhance protection of the refugee population.
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 update program database and information on refugees. Nine countries have so far benefited from this programming and Liberia is the third in West Africa.
The first phase of the profiling exercise targets the remaining 2,715 Sierra Leonean refugees in the three former refugee camps near Monrovia and 98 urban refugees of different nationalities who fled their country of origin due to fear of persecution and who find themselves in the capital, Monrovia.
Thirty-three persons (33) comprising of UNHCR staff, LRRRC, former refugee leaders and staff of implementing partners kicked off the exercise at the Samukai Refugee camp, as registrars, data entry clerks, interpreters and photographers. Prior to the commencement of the exercise, a Geneva-based Registration Team trained 25 persons from UNHCR and staff of former partners on techniques and application of the database software.
The documentation exercise will be concluded in the next seven (7) days in the Monrovia area and gradually it will extend to areas inside the country where refugees are being hosted. Refugees who undergo the process will be issued identification card.
UNHCR Repatriation Program Passes 10,000 Mark
UNHCR has passed the 10,000 mark since it started its repatriation program of Liberian refugees from the region. During the course of last week, 963 Liberian refugees in three convoys were received from the camps in Guinea This has brought to total, 10,566, the number of Liberian refugees so far assisted to return since 1 October 2004. Meanwhile, the number of IDPs assisted to return under the inter-agency collaborative approach is nearing the 100,000 mark. A total of 93,906 have return as of 27 March. The disbursement of transport grant to accelerate the movement of IDPs is paying off as more and more IDPs are now returning to their places of origin.
Renovation works on two clinics in Saclepea, Mah District in Nimba County have been completed. The projects were funded by UNHCR and implemented by MERCI. Also, in Grand Gedeh County, UNHCR, UNDP along with their implementing partners sensitized community residents to take ownership of reintegration programmes in their areas.