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|2021 planning figures|
|4,000||temporary shelter and shelter material kits will be provided to newly-arrived asylum-seekers, while 100% of them will receive core relief items|
|100%||of people of concern to UNHCR who signal their intention to return will be assisted to do so|
|100%||of people of concern to UNHCR who intended to locally-integrate will receive livelihood grants and 20% of vulnerable host community residents will also benefit from these livelihood grants|
|100%||of asylum-seekers will be biometrically registered and provided with registration documentation|
|90%||of primary school-aged children will be enrolled in primary education|
|2019 year-end results|
|2,000||students enrolled in school, an increase of 22%, with near gender parity maintained. A total of 27 students were supported through the DAFI scholarship programme in 2019|
|1,500||refugees returned to Côte d’Ivoire under UNHCR’s assisted voluntary repatriation programme|
|1,100||durable shelter kits were distributed to some 400 households in the PTP settlement. 70 durable shelters were constructed for refugees locally integrating in Bahn settlement. 20% of shelters provided in 2019 benefited host communities to foster peaceful co-existence|
|1,000||households benefitted from livelihood interventions in Grand Gedeh, Maryland, Monrovia and Nimba, including agriculture and business support|
|700||households received cash-based interventions|
|100||cases of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) (mostly physical assault, psychological and emotional abuse) were reported, and survivors counselled and provided with psychosocial support|
People of Concern
Operational environmentThe overall protection environment in Liberia for refugee and asylums-seekers is favourable, with the Government of Liberia allowing them to reside both in settlements and among host communities. The Government of Liberia has also made a number of pledges to stop statelessness and is in the process of mainstreaming the comprehensive refugee response framework and the Global Compact on Refugees.
There will be an estimated 28,736 refugees and asylum-seekers in Liberia at the start of 2021, including 20,466 Ivorian asylum-seekers who arrived in December 2020, following electoral tension in Côte d'Ivoire. UNHCR is working with the authorities to identify suitable areas to host them, with most new arrivals hosted in Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland counties. More than 90% are expected to live in host communities, may be exposed to protection risks and lack the possibility to receive proper medical, legal and psychosocial assistance. They will also rely on scarce resources among host communities for food, shelter, water and sanitation.
To ensure that all newly arrived refugees are adequately assisted, UNHCR will increase cross border monitoring, support the Liberian authorities to conduct biometric registration and will work with humanitarian and development actors to improve basic social services in the main refugee-hosting areas, focusing health, shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene. UNHCR will also implement livelihood interventions to foster refugee self-reliance, and if the situation in Cote d’Ivoire is conducive for safe returns, UNHCR will provide assistance to those who wish to repatriate. As for the old caseload of Ivorian refugees, UNHCR in Liberia will continue to support durable solutions for them, including voluntary repatriation for those willing to return and local integration of those unwilling or unable to do so, in line with the Government of Liberia’s five-year national strategy (2019-2023) for the local integration of Ivorian refugees.
Already grappling with development challenges, including weak infrastructure and public services, Liberia has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic downturn fuelled social and political tensions that will remain in 2021.
The poor road conditions represent a major logistical challenge for UNHCR to reach and operate in the key refugee-hosting areas along the Ivorian border. UNHCR continues to incur costs supporting the county governments in the repair of some roads used for voluntary repatriation.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will focus on:
- Supporting the Government of Liberia as it fulfils its pledges, including those related to statelessness, the Global Refugee Forum and the Local Integration Strategy (2019-2023).
- Working with the Government to finalize amendments to the refugee law, the 1973 Alien and Nationality Laws, domestication of the two statelessness Conventions and the Kampala Convention.
- Supporting school enrolment among refugees and advocating for their inclusion in national health and education services.
- Supporting the Government in reducing vulnerability and inequality, while empowering women and girls through livelihood activities.
- Building the capacity of the Government to take over the refugee status determination process by 2021.
- Providing protection and assistance to the newly arrived asylum-seekers (more than 20,000) in southern Liberia's Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland Counties).