Appeal for Liberia 2006

30 November 2005

Liberia stands on the brink of transformation into a fledgling democracy after fourteen years of one of the most brutal civil conflicts of the last decades, costing 250,000 lives, devastating social and cultural life, and all but destroying the country’s infrastructure and economy. 2006 will be not only a challenge for the newly elected Government of Liberia to deliver on its promises, but also a challenge to the international community to ensure the necessary support for a successful transformation. The presence of 15,000 UNMIL peacekeepers and the investment made by the world community has brought stability and peace to Liberia, and also significantly improved access for the humanitarian community. However, despite the progress made during 2005, urgent humanitarian needs still exist.

The facilitated return of 314,000 IDPs and more than 270,000 registered refugees is incomplete, with more than 300,000 yet to return. Likewise, reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants is unfinished. A large majority of the population still lacks any access to basic social services and lives in abject poverty; there has been insufficient funding to meet these basic needs. Simmering ethnic, social and political tensions within Liberia are likely to lead to unrest unless issues of inequity, corruption and social and economic deprivation are urgently addressed. The volatile political situation in the region also has the potential to further destabilise Liberia and unravel the gains made so far.

The October 2005 elections have the potential to move the country a step further towards long-term stability, self-sufficiency and sustainability. The incoming government will, however, need to address issues of public distrust in Government institutions, fiscal constraints and a long-term need for external assistance to rebuild social and physical infrastructure decimated by the war-years. The adoption of the GEMAP agreement carries much promise in addressing endemic corruption, mismanagement and accountability issues, which were previously raised by donors and international financial institutions.

The extended term of the RFTF ends in March 2006 and discussions are underway between the national and international partners of Liberia on the launch of a CCA/UNDAF process as well as an interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) during 2006. In view of the time-lines associated with these initiatives, and to ensure sustained donor engagement and continued funding for short-term humanitarian needs, the UNCT decided to articulate the humanitarian needs in this appeal being presented to donors in November 2005. These needs will further be mainstreamed into the CCA/UNDAF and PRSP process during 2006 to maintain continuity and complementarity between urgent action and reconstruction needs of Liberia.

In addition, UNDP, UNHCR UNICEF, and WFP have developed a Community Based Recovery Programme – Joint Action Plan (CBR-JAcP) for effective coordination of community based projects targeting restoration of basic services, protection and support to community structures, productive livelihoods shelter and community infrastructures. This is part of the coordination mechanism mentioned above.

Priority humanitarian action in the next twelve months includes providing a basic level of support to the population, including healthcare, water and sanitation, education, shelter, food security, agriculture  and livelihood opportunities. The facilitated return and rehabilitation of remaining IDPs and refugees will continue. The reintegration and rehabilitation of ex-combatants is a priority:  the future stability and sustainability of Liberian communities and the entire country hinges on this. In order to ensure sustainability communities will be revitalised through supporting capacity building programmes, creating economic and livelihoods opportunities and promoting peace building and reconciliation. Support for Liberian civil society is also a crucial factor, which will enable Liberians to take responsibility for their own governance and the future of their society. To this end the focus is on building the capacity of local civil society organisations, and the national and local level authorities, to ensure some level of accountability and transparency and limit corruption and mismanagement. This is a crucial time to build a strong and dynamic civil society as Liberia’s new government takes power, and instruments such as the GEMAP are put in place. Access is an ongoing issue and the rehabilitation and construction of roads and bridges is a priority. Protection and the significant HIV/AIDS problem in Liberia are crosscutting issues addressed in all activities and sectors.

This appeal seeks US$ 120,991,657 to address these needs and counts on the continued interest and support of donors to help assure success in meeting the humanitarian requirements of thousands of vulnerable Liberians in 2006. The humanitarian community in Liberia wishes to thank OCHA for its assistance in making this appeal possible through the ongoing and invaluable assistance of its CAP Section. 

 

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30 November 2005

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