2013 UNHCR country operations profile - Liberia
The socio-economic situation in Liberia remains very difficult as the country is still recovering from years of civil war. However, the election in 2011 of the new president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner with strong support in the international community, has produced a more favourable working environment for humanitarian and development actors.
The overall population of refugees and asylum seekers in Liberia grew significantly in mid-2011 following the unrest triggered by the December 2010 presidential election in Côte d'Ivoire. While in the beginning of 2010 Liberia had fewer than 7,000 refugees, they were over 128,000 in January 2012, mostly from Côte d'Ivoire. These refugees have benefited from unhindered access to the country, where they were swiftly granted refugee status on a prima facie basis.
In June, seven UN peacekeepers were killed in an incident in western Côte d'Ivoire. As a result of the deaths, the Government of Liberia decided to close its border with Côte d'Ivoire except for humanitarian matters. The volatile security situation in Côte d'Ivoire that followed the incident has reduced the rate of voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees from Liberia and induced some new arrivals (some 4,100 in two months).
In line with the progress towards peace and development in Liberia, cessation clauses (see Glossary) were invoked on 30 June 2012 for Liberian refugees. UNHCR is assisting the Liberian authorities to issue national passports to Liberians who opted for local integration in their country of asylum. In addition to the cessation clauses, mass information campaigns and an increase in March 2012 in the amount of cash given through reintegration grants prompted more Liberian refugees to repatriate voluntarily. Though UNHCR had planned for 11,000 individuals returning, as of 31 August 2012 more than 18,000 had done so, mainly from Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea and various other West African countries.
UNHCR anticipates challenges in facilitating the voluntary repatriation of Liberian refugees.
It is estimated that some 60,000 Ivorians will be in Liberia at the end of 2012. Providing them with basic goods and services such as food, water, health, shelter and education will be a priority.
Given the climatic conditions in the country, shelters are in constant need of replacement and maintenance. The transition to semi-permanent structures, which has already been initiated, needs to be supported to ensure that people of concern live in adequate dwellings.
|UNHCR 2013 planning figures for Liberia|
|TYPE OF POPULATION||ORIGIN||JAN 2013||DEC 2013|
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|TOTAL IN COUNTRY||OF WHOM ASSISTED
|Persons in refugee-like situations||Various||10||10||-||-|
Main objectives and targets for 2013
Basic needs and essential services
The health status of the population is improved.
The global acute malnutrition rate among refugees is less than 5 per cent.
The under-5 mortality rate among refugees is less than 1.5 per 1,000 people per month.
Some 85 per cent of people of concern have access to anti-retroviral therapy.
The population has optimal access to education.
All children aged 6-13 are enrolled in primary school.
All children of concern aged 14-17 are enrolled in secondary school.
Some 60 per cent of young people aged 15-24 are enrolled in certified training.
Shelter and infrastructure are established, improved and maintained.
Some 70 per cent of households live in adequate dwellings.
Not more than five persons live in the same shelter.
Community empowerment and self-reliance
Self-reliance and livelihoods are improved.
Some 20 per cent of people of concern aged 18-59 with their own businesses are self-employed for more than 12 months.
The potential for voluntary return is realized.
All people of concern who wish to repatriate do so in safety and dignity.
Strategy and activities in 2013
In 2013 UNHCR will continue to lead the humanitarian response to the refugee situation in Liberia in close coordination with the Government, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors. It will help build asylum capacity in the country and try to prevent statelessness and human trafficking. Regular protection monitoring in villages and camps will be undertaken through the government agency, the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC).
New arrivals will be registered and their data updated in a timely manner. Priority will be given to identifying and assisting unaccompanied and separated children, while ensuring that adequate SGBV prevention and response measures are in place.
In 2013, it is expected that some 70 per cent of refugees will live in camps. Refugees will continue to be encouraged and assisted to move into consolidated camps. UNHCR will also provide them with multi-sectoral assistance.
Emphasis will be placed on durable solutions. UNHCR plans to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of some 10,000 refugees to Côte d'Ivoire in 2013. Local integration for Ivorian refugees in Liberia is not foreseen in 2013. UNHCR will reopen negotiations with the Government for the local integration of Sierra Leonean refugees who were exempted from the 2008 invocation of the cessation clauses.
Resettlement will be mainly used as a protection tool. In 2013, UNHCR plans to submit 180 cases to resettlement countries.
The socio-political and security climate in Côte d'Ivoire continues to have a direct impact on the asylum situation in Liberia and prospects for the voluntary repatriation of Ivorian refugees in Liberia. Prolonged rains and poor infrastructure are some of the logistical challenges UNHCR has to cope with. The national electrical grid is in a poor state, forcing UNHCR to be heavily dependent on power generators to carry out its operations. The general economic situation in the country also affects the reintegration of Liberian returnees.
Organization and implementation
The number of UNHCR's implementing partners was reduced between 2011 and 2012, reflecting the reduction in refugee numbers and needs. This process is expected to continue in 2013.
Between 2007 and 2011, UNHCR's financial requirements in Liberia had been on the decline until the Ivorian crisis forced the Office to step up its operational capacity, leading to an increase of the 2011 and 2012 budgets. In 2013, UNHCR's requirements will amount to USD 42.5 million, and cover the transportation and reintegration of Liberian returnees, the provision of basic goods and services to Ivorian refugees, and building the Government's capacity to manage refugee matters.
Source: UNHCR Global Appeal 2013 Update
UNHCR contact information
|The UNHCR Representation in Liberia|
|Style of Address||The UNHCR Representative in Liberia|
|Street Address||Haider Building
|Mailing Address||Mail address:
P.O. Box 9077
|Telephone||+41 22 739 7286|
|Facsimile||+41 22 739 7287|
|Time Zone||GMT + 0:00|
|Public Holidays||01 January 2011, New Year's Day
09 March 2011, Decoration Day
22 April 2011, Good Friday
14 May 2011, National Unification Day
26 July 2011, Independence Day
24 August 2011, National Flag Day
31 August 2011, Eid-Al-Fitr
03 November 2011, Thanksgiving Day
07 November 2011, Eid-Al-Adha
25 December 2011, Christmas Day