Voluntary repatriation is prioritized based on significant results attained in 2013 and 2014 which exceeded the planned target. With the outbreak of the EVD, the operation in Liberia will place more emphasis on public health and primary health care of refugees by ensuring the availability of capacity in terms of staff, medicines and equipment in all refugee camp healthcare facilities as well as within the national structures to manage referral cases. The need for strengthening refugee livelihoods and self-reliance cannot be overemphasised. This is often highlighted in participatory assessments and focus group engagements with refugees. In 2014, UNHCR’s livelihood support programme targets the youth, adolescents who have no access to secondary education and are exposed to various protection risks including GBV and sexual exploitation and abuse. Other target groups include vulnerable groups such as persons with specific needs and chronic illnesses.
In 2015 the livelihoods strategy will seek to provide more focused targeting in terms of beneficiaries within the residual population as well as a redefinition of livelihoods interventions. There will be greater focus on agriculture and small business support over skills training. The prioritization of sustainable livelihoods is a result of a glaring need to support vulnerable refugees to provide for themselves. UNHCR will seek to enhance community empowerment, participation and self-management. Refugee leadership structures will be strengthened. UNHCR will advocate with the Government to ensure that refugee leaders are represented at the county level and that their needs are taken into consideration by local governments.
Other priorities for the operation include capacity building of the Government and other stakeholders to improve upon the level of compliance with obligations to international conventions and instruments particularly in the wake of breaches of such obligations. In this regard, the operation prioritizes the achievement of results in ensuring access to territorial protection and asylum procedures; protection against refoulement; and the adoption of nationality laws that prevent and/or reduce statelessness are adequately reflected in national legislation and implemented. UNHCR has supported the Government in addressing gaps in the registration and certification refugee children born in Liberia. In 2015, UNHCR will collaborate with other actors such as UNICEF to ensure that sustainable systems are in place and the capacity exists at the local government level in refugee hosting counties for the government’s independent management of birth registration in line with the Convention of the Rights of the Child while also mitigating the risk of statelessness.