Latest update of camps and office locations 21 Nov 2016. By clicking on the icons on the map, additional information is displayed.
|2016 end-year results|
|44,500||patients were treated at the health facilities in all camps|
|18,700||refugees repatriated to Côte d’Ivoire|
|2,600||individuals were issued with birth certificates|
|68||people with specific needs were provided with assistance|
|2017 planning figures|
|8,000||returnees will be provided with safe transport|
|5,000||remaining refugees opting for local integration will receive shelter support|
|4,000||women and girls will receive sanitary materials|
|400||individuals with specific needs will receive cash support|
|15||peaceful coexistence projects will be implemented|
People of Concern
Working environmentOn 1 July 2016 the Liberian government officially assumed the security responsibilities of the country from UNMIL, the UN mission based in Liberia since 2003. The United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of UNMIL to 30 March 2018, but with reduced strength.
The reduction in UNMIL presence, and the lack of support in road maintenance and supply of fuel, created challenges for UNHCR regarding its ongoing repatriation operation.
Lack of infrastructure and economic challenges caused UNHCR’s work in Liberia to be very costly in terms of logistics and the quality of goods and services provided.
No progress was made on the passage of the amendment to the 1993 refugee Law, though work begun in May 2016 on the review of the Alien and Nationality Law (ANL) to bring it in line with international standards. The ANL is currently awaiting drafting with the Law Reform commission.
76 per cent of refugees in Liberia resided in camps with full access to multi-sectoral services provided by UNHCR and partners. The remaining 24 per cent of refugees lived within host communities, competing over the same basic needs and services, such as food, water, healthcare, education and electricity, as the host communities. According to the World Bank, more than half of the population of Liberia live below USD 1.25 a day.
- At the beginning of 2016, there were some 36,500 people of concern, 36,000 are from Côte d’Ivoire.
- Continuous registration activities carried out during the year resulted in the registration of some 1,430 new births and re-activation of 500 individuals. A total of 212 deaths were also recorded in 2016.
- The total refugee and asylum seekers population at the end of 2016 was 19,000.
Achievements and impact
- In 2016, some 18,700 refugees repatriated to Côte d’Ivoire through a UNHCR-assisted programme and another 350 Ivorians returned spontaneously. 3 Sierra Leoneans were also repatriated during the reported period, bringing the total number of returns to just over 19,000 by the end of 2016.
- Through a tracing and family reunification program that facilitates the return of unaccompanied and separated children (UASC), the number of UASC decreased to 256 at the end of 2016.
- Some 1,430 new births were recorded and 1,411 infants were provided with certificates. An additional 1,213 late registrations were also carried out, thus bringing the total number of certificates issued in 2016 to around 2,600.
- The local integration process commenced with the Ministry of Education (MOE) accepting a change from Ivorian to Liberian curriculum in all camp-based schools and the subsequent mainstreaming into national education system.
- The daily water supply in Bahn and PTP camps was 24.1 litres per person while for LWC camp it was 25.0 litres per person, bringing it above the minimum standard.
- Challenges included gaps in psychosocial support, lack of capacity to conduct Best Interests Assessment/Best Interests Determination interviews for all UASC and lack of livelihoods support to vulnerable refugees.
- Support to foster families was reduced due to funding constraints, and as a result, families were reluctant to continue fostering UASC.
- A vulnerability assessment established that about 35 per cent of the camp population were in serious need of food assistance. The non-distribution of supplementary food to children with severe malnutrition exacerbated the problem. A total of 375 children aged between 6 – 59 months were treated for acute malnutrition.
- The proportion of children aged 6 – 59 months suffering from anaemia increased between 2015 and 2016, and supplementary food distribution was needed.
- The sanitation situation was alarming in the first half of the year due to full latrines and the unavailability of resources to decommission and construct new latrines.
UNHCR’s operation in Liberia has two main strategies: protection and assistance for refugees and asylum-seekers, and the search for durable solutions. In 2016, the Office will continue to work in partnership with the Government and development actors in order to mainstream, wherever possible, refugee-related services into public structures and systems.
The overall security situation in Liberia remains generally stable, though fragile. There remain concerns about the absence of effective mechanisms to guarantee accountability and to ensure human rights protection, and the high incidence of sexual and gender-based violence.
In 2016, the repatriation operation of Ivorian refugees is expected to resume, subject to peaceful elections in the country of origin. The closure and consolidation of camps will be pursued as part of UNHCR’s exit strategy, following the return of Ivorian refugees to Côte d’Ivoire. Given that some refugees may choose not to return owing to individual protection concerns, UNHCR will engage with the Government of Liberia to explore possibilities of establishing practical modalities for their integration in Liberian society. The strategic use of resettlement as a protection tool will be considered for targeted cases.