World Refugee Day 2007 National Activities: Sierra Leone
World Refugee Day, 20 June 2007
UNHCR organized a voluntary repatriation convoy which took 635 Liberian refugees home from Sierra Leone.
The film "Global View" was shown and cultural performances by refugees were organized.
A radio panel discussion was aired twice on the Eastern Radio and SLBS FM radio in Kenema, where the main celebration took place reaching more than 400,000 people.
- Sierra Leonean refugees relocate to new houses in Liberia
- Liberian town sets aside land for local integration of Sierra Leoneans
- Sierra Leonean refugees in Guinea advised on end of their status
- On an island awash in music, a refugee adds his voice
- Refugee status for Sierra Leoneans to end
UNHCR country pages
Sierra Leone: Last Return Convoy from Liberia
On July 21, 2004, the final UNHCR convoy from Liberia crossed over the Mano River bridge into Sierra Leone with 286 returnees. This convoy included the last of some 280,000 refugees returning home after Sierra Leone's brutal 10-year civil war which ended in 2000. Overall, since repatriation began in 2001, UNHCR has helped some 178,000 refugees return home, with a further 92,000 returning spontaneously, without transport assistance from UNHCR.
UNHCR provided returnees with food rations and various non-food items, including jerry cans, blankets, sleeping mats, soap and agricultural tools in order to help them establish their new lives in communities of origin. To promote integration of newly arrived returnees, UNHCR has implemented some 1,000 community empowerment projects nationwide. Programmes include the building and rehabilitation of schools, clinics, water and sanitation facilities, as well as micro-credit schemes and skills training.
UNHCR and its partners, alongside the UN country team and the government, will continue to assist the reintegration of returnees through the end of 2005.