Consolidated Appeal for Liberia 2012
While the acute humanitarian emergency engendered by the sudden influx of Ivorian refugees into Liberia continues to stabilize, significant humanitarian aid is still required to address the needs of some 120,000 Ivorian refugees and their host communities in the Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland counties of Liberia. Failure to provide this assistance will harm the lives and livelihoods of many refugees and vulnerable host populations, and hinder recovery and community rehabilitation efforts in Liberia.
Following the progressive improvement in the political and security situation in Côte d’Ivoire (CDI), an estimated 96,000 Ivorian refugees returned home from Liberia between March and October 2011, leaving about 138,000 others in Liberia (mid-November). Based on those trends, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that another 18,000 refugees have returned to CDI between November and December 2011. This would leave an outstanding caseload of 120,000 refugees, which is the target figure for this Consolidated Appeal (CAP).
Due to cultural similarities and in some cases family ties, many of the refugees found shelter in local Liberian communities that welcomed them. With the sudden and large increase in population, the meagre resources and fragile coping mechanisms in these rural communities were stretched to breaking point. Food, shelter, basic social services and livelihood options all became an issue of serious concern. The Government of Liberia has adopted a clear policy to relocate all refugees remaining in the communities to a safe designated area, comprising six camps and 16 relocation village sites. As of mid-November 2011, 47,500 refugees were in these sites, which are being developed for a planned capacity of up to 80,000 people.
The humanitarian emergency response undertaken since late 2010 helped save lives but the continued presence of thousands of refugees in the communities has not allowed for a quick relief of pressure. A strategic humanitarian involvement is still needed to address the vulnerabilities of both refugees and host communities. The four counties hosting refugees were already among the most vulnerable in Liberia prior to the refugee influx, suffering from poor or limited basic social and protection-related services. This new crisis came as Liberia continues its recovery from a 14-year-long internal conflict which ended in 2003.
This CAP focuses on providing protection and assistance for 120,000 Ivorian refugees, and ensuring the continued recovery of some 140,000 vulnerable Liberians affected by the Ivorian crisis in the four counties of Nimba, Grand Gadeh, River Gee and Maryland. These two strategic priorities are the pillars on which the following strategic objectives of this CAP are based:
- To reduce excess mortality and morbidity for refugees and vulnerable Liberians
- To improve access to basic social services and protection for refugees and Liberians, including safeguarding the rights and well-being of refugees.
- To reinforce livelihoods of the most vulnerable population for refugees and Liberians, including increasing refugees’ self-reliance and facilitating refugees’ voluntary return to CDI.
To implement these priority programme activities agreed by the sector working groups in Liberia and the Government of Liberia, the overall funding requirement stands at US$121,577,270.