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Assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Liberia : report of the Secretary-General.

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General Assembly
9 October 1995
Fiftieth session
Agenda item 20 (b)
Assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Liberia
Report of the Secretary-General
Paragraphs Page
I. INTRODUCTION ......................................... 1 - 12 3
II. SUPPORT FOR THE PEACE PROCESS ........................ 13 - 27 5
A. Assistance for peace monitoring .................. 13 - 24 5
B. Initiatives for rehabilitation, reconstruction and
national reconciliation .......................... 25 - 27 7
A. Food and nutrition ............................... 28 - 34 8
B. Agriculture ...................................... 35 - 36 9
C. Health and medical care .......................... 37 - 45 9
D. Water and sanitation ............................. 46 - 53 11
95-30345 (E) 231095 /...
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CONTENTS (continued)
Paragraphs Page
E. Education and training ........................... 54 - 59 12
F. Specific target groups ........................... 60 - 74 13
V. CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS .............................. 86 - 89 18
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1. In its resolution 49/21 E of 20 December 1994, the General Assembly,
inter alia, called upon the international community and intergovernmental
organizations to provide Liberia with technical, financial and other assistance
for the repatriation and resettlement of Liberian refugees, returnees and
displaced persons and for the rehabilitation of combatants.
2. The Assembly also appealed to the international community and
intergovernmental organizations to provide adequate assistance to programmes
identified in the report of the Secretary-General on assistance for the
rehabilitation and reconstruction of Liberia (A/49/466), including the
preparation of a new appeal for humanitarian assistance to cover emergency
assistance needs and to support the peace process.
3. In the same resolution, the Assembly reiterated its appeal to the
international community to contribute generously to the Trust Fund established
by the Secretary-General, in order to enable the Economic Community of West
African States (ECOWAS) Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) to fulfil its mandate and to
help defray the cost of deployment of additional troops from outside the
4. The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to continue his efforts
to coordinate the work of the United Nations system and to mobilize assistance
for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Liberia; to undertake, when
conditions permit, in close collaboration with the authorities of Liberia, an
overall assessment of needs, with the objective of holding, when appropriate, a
round-table conference of donors for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of
Liberia; and to report to the General Assembly at its fiftieth session on the
implementation of the resolution.
5. The present report describes activities carried out in Liberia since the
issuance of the previous report of the Secretary-General (A/49/466) in
October 1994. Information on assistance to Liberian refugees in the
neighbouring countries will be incorporated in a separate report of the
Secretary-General in accordance with General Assembly resolution 49/174 of
23 December 1994.
6. During the past year, most United Nations efforts have been directed
towards supporting the peace process in Liberia, delivering humanitarian
assistance to victims of civil conflict, providing for the emergency needs of
displaced persons and, where possible, continuing rehabilitation activities.
United Nations agencies as well as national and international non-governmental
organizations were all active in the relief effort, with overall coordination
provided by the United Nations Resident Coordinator. Priorities included:
(a) regaining access to civilian populations in areas controlled by factions;
(b) preparing a new appeal for humanitarian assistance requirements; (c) meeting
the emergency needs of newly displaced populations; and (d) developing a
cohesive and shared strategy to meet the needs of the greatest possible number
of affected civilians.
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7. In September 1994, humanitarian assistance organizations operating outside
ECOMOG-controlled areas suffered serious losses when much of their equipment was
looted by warring factions. The immediate effect was the cessation of virtually
all relief activities outside the greater Monrovia and Buchanan areas. Repeated
efforts by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and by individual
United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations to have their
equipment and materials returned were unsuccessful.
8. The looting of humanitarian assistance materials was said to have been
reflective of a breakdown in the control exercised by faction leaders over their
fighters. In addition to severely restricting the geographic scope of relief
efforts, the violence and heightened insecurity that accompanied the looting
forced tens of thousands of civilians to seek refuge in Monrovia and Buchanan,
increasing the population of displaced persons in both cities significantly.
Continued fighting during 1995, notably between the Liberia Peace Council (LPC)
and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) and between rival branches of
the United Liberation Movement for Democracy (ULIMO), resulted in further
large-scale population displacements and prevented humanitarian assistance
agencies from helping those civilians unable to flee the affected areas.
9. In June 1995, the reach of humanitarian assistance activities increased
somewhat when ECOMOG secured the roads northeast from Monrovia to Kakata and
Bong Town, and north and west from Monrovia to Tubmanburg and Bo. The newly
secured roads allowed for preliminary deliveries of relief supplies from
Monrovia to affected areas. A study undertaken by Médecins sans frontières
(MSF)-Belgium, Save the Children Fund (SCF)-United Kingdom of Great Britain and
Northern Ireland, and the European Union during the period of increased access
gave an indication of the seriousness of the plight of the population. The
study in upper Margibi and lower Bong counties revealed global and severe
malnutrition rates of 56 per cent and 42 per cent, respectively, illustrating
the effects on the population of being cut off from sustained assistance of any
10. By September 1995, United Nations agencies and non-governmental
organizations were working to benefit from the road openings by expanding
operations into those areas where they could be provided with credible security
guarantees. In addition, a number of humanitarian assistance organizations
continued to deliver relief supplies from Côte d’Ivoire into Nimba and Bong
counties, and sporadically from Guinea into upper Lofa county.
11. While maintaining a division of labour based on mandate and expertise, the
humanitarian agencies operating in Liberia adopted a number of shared operating
principles and protocols to serve as the basis for their respective operations.
The principles and protocols, developed under the auspices of the Office of the
United Nations Resident Coordinator with the assistance of the Department of
Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, emphasize the
impartiality of humanitarian assistance work and the importance of operating in
a coordinated manner.
12. It is estimated that 1.8 million Liberians require humanitarian assistance,
of whom 1.5 million are currently accessible to relief organizations. Though
the plausible security guarantees required for a rapid expansion of relief
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activities have not yet been secured, a number of gains have been made,
particularly the opening of the roads from Monrovia.
A. Assistance for peace monitoring
13. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance to Liberia since the
inception of the crisis, the United Nations has undertaken a series of
initiatives to promote the peaceful settlement of the conflict. This included
the fielding of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL)
following the signing of the Cotonou Agreement in July 1993. 1/
14. In November 1994, pursuant to Security Council resolution 950 (1994) of
21 October 1994, the Secretary-General dispatched a high-level mission to Côte
d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone to explore avenues
for advancing the peace process. The mission concluded, inter alia, that it was
of central importance that ECOWAS members harmonize their policies on Liberia.
Deliberations at Accra in November and December and the signing by factions of
the Accra Agreement on 21 December 1994 2/ signified progress in the peace
15. In a further effort to consolidate peace, the Third Meeting of Heads of
State and Government of the ECOWAS Committee of Nine on Liberia was convened at
Abuja from 17 to 20 May 1995. The meeting stressed the importance of enforcing
the arms embargo established by the Security Council in its resolution
788 (1992) of 19 November 1992, and monitoring the cease-fire agreement signed
by factions on 28 December 1994. The Abuja summit was followed by bilateral
consultations in the Nigerian capital between Nigerian officials and a number of
faction leaders.
16. Mr. Anthony Nyaki succeeded Mr. Trevor Gordon-Somers as Special
Representative of the Secretary-General in January 1995. Mr. Nyaki began
consultations with Governments in the region to determine how best the United
Nations could complement ECOWAS efforts to achieve peace. As a result of these
consultations and consistent with the conclusions of the ECOWAS meeting held at
Abuja in May 1995, Mr. Nyaki regularized the activities of the cease-fire
monitoring committee, a representational body assembled to investigate
allegations of cease-fire violations.
17. Despite these developments, the peace process continued to encounter
serious problems. Fighting continued in many areas of the country, preventing
the extension of Government jurisdiction and the initiation of comprehensive
rehabilitation and resettlement schemes. By its resolution 1001 (1995) of
30 June 1995, the Security Council established four conditions for the renewal
of the mandate of the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) beyond
15 September 1995: (a) installation of the Council of State;
(b) re-establishment of a comprehensive and effective cease-fire;
(c) disengagement of all forces; and (d) establishment of an agreed timetable
for the implementation of all other aspects of the peace agreements.
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18. In July, two meetings were held at Monrovia between Liberian parties as a
follow-up to the Abuja summit. The first meeting, held from 13 to 17 July, was
sponsored by the Women’s Groups of Liberia. The second meeting, facilitated by
ECOWAS, the Government of Nigeria, the Special Representative of the Secretary-
General and the Carter Center, was held from 19 to 23 July.
19. These consultations resulted, inter alia, in the adoption of a resolution
endorsing a six-member Council of State and reaffirming the factions’ commitment
to disarmament, the creation of safe havens and the reopening of roads and
ports. The parties also discussed the issue of power-sharing between the two
wings of the United Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO) and
decided to establish a technical committee to facilitate an agreement between
20. The Chairman of ECOWAS convened a meeting of the factions at Abuja from
16 to 19 August, which culminated in the signing by the Liberian parties of an
agreement 3/ amending and supplementing the Cotonou and Akosombo Agreements, as
subsequently clarified by the Accra Agreement. The Abuja Agreement provided for
and resulted in the establishment of a comprehensive cease-fire on
26 August 1995 and a new six-member Council of State, which was installed on
1 September 1995. The new Council would remain in power for a period of one
year, until the holding of elections on 20 August 1996. The Agreement also
included a schedule of implementation and a formula for the distribution of
government posts, which the parties have implemented.
21. The new Council of State held its first session immediately after its
installation on 1 September. Reports indicate that the new transitional
government enjoys the full support of all the key political leaders of Liberia,
as well as the population at large.
22. The Council of State has already announced new appointments to the Cabinet
and assigned oversight responsibilities for Ministries, autonomous agencies and
public corporations to Council members. Nominations to the Supreme Court have
also been made, and consultations are under way to fill the few remaining posts
in the Transitional Legislative Assembly and the Electoral Commission.
23. On 4 September, the Cease-fire Violations Committee, chaired by UNOMIL, met
to review with the factions plans for monitoring the cease-fire and the
implementation of the other provisions of the peace agreement, including
disarmament and demobilization. A Disarmament Committee, chaired by ECOMOG, has
also been established to draw up plans for the disengagement of forces,
disarmament and the exchange of prisoners of war.
24. With the conclusion of the Abuja Agreement, the entry into force of the
cease-fire and the installation of the Council of State, plans are being
prepared for the further expansion of UNOMIL. UNOMIL was invited to attend the
ECOWAS Chiefs of Staff Meeting held at Accra on 4 and 5 September to work out
the modalities for the implementation of the military aspects of the Abuja
Agreement. The international community, in particular the United Nations, was
urgently requested to support ECOMOG and the disarmament, demobilization and
reintegration of combatants. It was strongly felt that failure to focus on the
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requirements of combatants could adversely affect the peace process, and that
the momentum generated by the Abuja Agreement should be maintained.
B. Initiatives for rehabilitation, reconstruction and
national reconciliation
25. During the reporting period, the food-for-work and institution
strengthening activities of the World Food Programme (WFP) increased by
100 per cent. The WFP emergency school feeding programme was expanded to cover
550 schools in Montserrado, Margibi and Buchanan, reaching a total of 182,000
school children. Food-for-work incentives were also provided to teachers and
support staff in schools and orphanages, as well as medical and support staff in
clinics and hospitals. In addition, the National Volunteer Programme, which was
established to support the reintegration of ex-combatants into civil society
through food-for-work schemes, benefited 1,800 demobilized fighters before its
suspension in early 1995.
26. In the agricultural sector, five pipeline projects of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations were approved for 1995 and are
now under way. They are aimed at improving food security through cassava
production and processing, distribution of seeds and tools, training in
extension methods and development of artisanal fisheries. FAO is also planning
sectoral review and crop assessment missions, for which United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) funding has been earmarked. The missions will
provide a basis for the rehabilitation and reconstruction plan to be formulated
in collaboration with UNDP and the Government. Efforts are also under way to
develop a sustainable food security strategy. FAO is also planning a review of
current agricultural statistics in order to facilitate the distribution of farm
inputs as access increases.
27. In anticipation of the longer-term rehabilitation of Liberia’s education
sector, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) and UNDP have worked with the Ministry of Education and local and
international non-governmental organizations to develop "A Basic Education and
Training Sector Reconstruction Programme (1995-2000)". The programme will focus
on the rehabilitation of primary and secondary schools and Learning Centres,
which will provide non-formal basic education; upgrading the skills of staff
members from the Ministry of Education and county education offices;
decentralization of responsibilities to the grass-roots or county level;
improvement of curricula; and restructuring of the existing education systems.
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A. Food and nutrition
28. During the period under review, WFP and other relief agencies, particularly
Catholic Relief Services (CRS), addressed emergency relief food needs in all
accessible areas of Liberia. Food commodities provided were rice, bulgur wheat,
corn soya blend, beans and vegetable oil. In 1994, more than 87,000 metric tons
of relief food was distributed. WFP provided 60 per cent of the food, CRS
provided 30 per cent and other organizations, including Save the Children Fund,
provided the remaining 10 per cent.
29. Food commodities are shipped to Monrovia and to San Pedro (Côte d’Ivoire),
where they are directly delivered to designated non-governmental organizations,
including the Lutheran World Service/Lutheran World Federation (LWS/LWF), at
regional warehouses. Internal transport, storage and handling costs are met by
WFP. Field distribution of WFP and most CRS food commodities is performed by
several national and international non-governmental organizations at more than
1,500 distribution points.
30. During the first six months of 1994, the level of food distribution in
Liberia increased from 6,250 metric tons to an average of 7,600 metric tons, as
the security situation allowed for the expansion of relief distribution into
Nimba, Bong and Bomi counties. In Bomi and Cape Mount counties, emergency
distribution was possible only in a few towns secured by ECOMOG. In areas
occupied by the NPFL, WFP organized 28 cross-line convoys from Monrovia carrying
a total of 6,000 metric tons between January and August 1994. Over the same
period, non-governmental organizations dispatched 25 convoys carrying a total of
1,400 metric tons of food. A total of 17 metric tons was also delivered across
the border to Ganta and Gbarnga from Côte d’Ivoire, in order to meet the
emergency food aid needs of approximately 425,000 beneficiaries. During that
same period, 850 metric tons of emergency relief food were also delivered to
Maryland county, from Tabou, Côte d’Ivoire.
31. From September 1994 onward, delivery of food aid to those areas outside
ECOMOG control was largely suspended, following a renewed outbreak of fighting
and the theft of large amounts of property from relief organizations as
described above. Distribution of emergency food aid continued, however, in
Montserrado, lower Margibi and lower Grand Bassa counties for a case-load of
1.3 million persons, including 830,000 displaced. Fighting in areas outside
ECOMOG control continued to displace Liberians into Monrovia and its environs,
Harbel and Smell-No-Taste in lower Margibi county and Buchanan in Grand Bassa
county. WFP and CRS carried out monthly food distributions of approximately
2,500 metric tons to 35 centres for displaced persons in those areas.
32. General distribution of emergency food aid in Monrovia is carried out three
times per year. Approximately 9,000 metric tons of relief food is distributed
to 900,000 beneficiaries, based on an established system of registered
beneficiaries per household unit. This general distribution will be phased out
during 1995 in favour of targeted feeding.
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33. The overall case-load for emergency food aid in Liberia for 1995 is
1.5 million persons, including 100,000 Sierra Leonean refugees. The standard
ration for displaced persons and refugees, as recommended by WFP and the Office
of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), remains at
200 grams of cereal per person per day. In rural areas, the daily ration
includes 60 grams of pulse and in urban areas, 25 grams of oil. The normal
ration is supplemented with 100 grams of cereal and 125 grams of corn soya blend
for vulnerable groups.
34. Ongoing fighting and the consequent population displacement seriously
reduced agricultural activities in 1994 and the first nine months of 1995.
Agricultural populations in Bong, Nimba, Lofa, Bassa, Cape Mount and Bomi
counties were displaced and prevented from planting. As a result, WFP has
projected a continued need for emergency food aid for 1996 in the Liberia
Regional Protracted Operation (covering Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and
Guinea), more than 80 per cent of whose beneficiaries are Liberian.
B. Agriculture
35. During the reporting period, FAO activities were focused on the acquisition
and distribution of farming inputs to increase household food security for
accessible agricultural communities. FAO also provided displaced persons,
ex-combatants and, in some cases, refugees with seed rice, vegetable seeds and
farm tools through its Technical Assistance Programme and contributions from the
European Community. In collaboration with non-governmental organizations, FAO
was able to distribute vegetable seeds and farm tools to 50,000 farming families
in Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Margibi counties.
36. FAO’s collaborating partners include the non-governmental organizations
Africare, CRS and LWS, as well as a number of local non-governmental
organizations. International non-governmental organizations have played an
instrumental role in the agricultural sector by providing vegetable and rice
seeds and tools to targeted populations.
C. Health and medical care
37. Efforts to rehabilitate the health sector continue through the
collaboration of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ministry of Health and national and international
non-governmental organizations. During the reporting period, the
inaccessibility of many parts of the country limited the delivery of health
sector services and reduced the number of functioning health centres. Thanks to
recent improvements in security, agencies working in the health sector have
begun rebuilding the shattered health infrastructure in Bong and Cape Mount
counties. They have also continued to provide curative and preventative health
care in all accessible areas.
38. Increased displacement and overcrowded living conditions have further
increased the population’s vulnerability to epidemic diseases. Malaria
continues to be a problem of major concern as it is the leading cause of
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morbidity and mortality in all age groups. WHO, UNICEF and other organizations
active in the health sector have initiated several community-based malaria
control programmes.
39. The incidence of diarrhoeal diseases and acute respiratory infections is
also high, particularly for young children. WHO and UNICEF are expanding
programmes for control of diarrhoea diseases, particularly in Monrovia and
Buchanan. UNICEF is also supporting the establishment of an organized programme
for acute respiratory infections by providing essential drugs to all mothers and
child health clinics in Monrovia. This drug supply is supplemented by WHO. The
results of three Expanded Immunization Programme (EPI) surveys conducted in
accessible areas show a steady increase in immunization coverage for children
under one year old.
40. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has also become a serious health
problem. At the end of 1993, surveillance data indicated that about 5 per cent
of persons surveyed (mainly from Monrovia) were seropositive. In 1994, human
immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence studies were undertaken on selected
populations in accessible areas and 12 new cases were reported. As at
December 1994, 44 cases of AIDS were reported for Liberia. The National AIDS
Programme, largely supported by WHO, continues to focus on public awareness
activities, training, condom distribution and blood-safety examination.
41. WHO is also sponsoring programmes to combat other diseases, especially
epilepsy and onchocerciasis (river blindness). The beneficiaries of the river
blindness and epilepsy programmes number about 1,500 and 150 respectively.
Along with several non-governmental organizations and UNICEF, WHO participated
in the control of the cholera outbreak between July and November 1994 by
providing US$ 6,000 worth of intravenous fluids and by supporting an information
42. To combat psycho-social ailments, WHO facilitated the opening of the only
mental health facility in the country. This facility provides psychiatric care
for patients and consultative services to the J. F. Kennedy Hospital and to
various non-governmental organizations engaged in programme support to young
people (including UNICEF-supported programmes for abused women and girls; the
Children’s Assistance Programme; Don Bosco homes; and the work of the
non-governmental organization Liberians United Against Drug Abuse).
43. The supply of medical drugs in Liberia is being addressed by the National
Drug Service (NDS) which is supported by UNICEF. NDS provides essential drugs,
equipment, other medical supplies and training for medical personnel. There
were 70 health facilities supported by NDS as of mid-1995. An NDS sub-station
located in Grand Bassa county serves the increasing number of non-governmental
organizations and health facilities operating in that area. In addition, a
recent contribution of US$ 140,000 from the Government of the United States of
America will allow for the provision of essential drugs and medical supplies to
help control malaria and diarrhoeal and respiratory infections in camps for
displaced persons, refugee centres and recently accessible areas of western
Liberia. This contribution will also allow for resettlement of health workers
to their original places of work for at least six months, and provide direct
support to victims of the conflict.
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44. Community mobilization and health education, training of traditional birth
attendants and family planning and child survival programmes have also begun in
Bomi and Cape Mount counties. An initial 207 cycles of oral contraceptives were
provided to health centres and five kits to two groups of traditional birth
attendants in targeted camps. WHO will work with a local non-governmental
organization to train 52 traditional birth attendants in Tubmanburg. Locally
made kits for traditional birth attendants will be provided upon completion of
the training from emergency funds donated by the Government of the United
45. The WHO programme for the remainder of 1995 foresees, inter alia, provision
of basic health services to approximately 1.3 million persons in ECOMOGcontrolled
areas. This includes populations in Monrovia and its environs, as
well as displaced persons in Buchanan, Harbel and the recently accessible areas
in Bomi and Cape Mount counties.
D. Water and sanitation
46. The provision of safe drinking water and improvement of general sanitation
continue to be among the more critical needs to be met in Liberia. The
situation is being addressed through the collaborative efforts of UNICEF and
non-governmental organizations, principally MSF-Belgium, the International
Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Action internationale contre la faim (AICF)
and the African Muslim Agency (AMA).
47. Prior to the civil war, approximately 90 per cent of the population of
Monrovia relied on the supply of treated pipe water from the White Plains water
treatment plant. During clashes in October 1992, the treatment plant was
extensively damaged. Following repairs undertaken with the assistance of
UNICEF, the plant resumed operations in late 1993. Since then, the plant has
been supplying about one third of the population of Monrovia.
48. From a country-wide perspective, the general situation has not dramatically
improved during the reporting period. This is partly attributable to the
renewed fighting and heightened insecurity that struck many parts of the
country, making them inaccessible for relief operations. Currently, a
significant portion of the population is being serviced by natural sources and
the 350 shallow and hand-dug wells equipped with hand pumps constructed by
UNICEF and international non-governmental organizations, including MSF-Belgium,
AICF and AMA. UNICEF continues to provide regular maintenance and spare parts
for these hand pumps and closely monitors the delivery of emergency water
supplies to hospitals, clinics, orphanages and one shelter for displaced
49. In support of the Monrovia shallow wells programme, UNICEF is conducting
mass well chlorination campaigns to reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease.
Under the campaigns conducted in 1994 and January 1995, approximately 4,800 open
and protected wells were chlorinated. Information on self-chlorination using
locally available household bleach is also being disseminated to communities to
further control water-borne diseases. Initial surveillance reports show that
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the chlorination intervention has been effective, and therefore two additional
mass chlorination campaigns are planned for 1995.
50. In the absence of a functional government body responsible for rural water
supply and sanitation, UNICEF assistance is implemented through local
non-governmental organizations and communities. In 1994, UNICEF water and
sanitation programmes in the rural areas resulted in the rehabilitation of 160
hand pumps and the construction of 18 hand-dug wells equipped with hand pumps,
4 group latrines at schools and health centres and 36 family latrines.
Currently, security conditions in the rural areas have reduced UNICEF
chlorination activities. In peri-urban areas, 22 hand-dug wells equipped with
hand pumps and 38 family latrines were provided along with health and hygiene
education. UNICEF intervention in the water and sanitation sector has reached
about 60,000 beneficiaries in the rural and peri-urban communities.
51. UNICEF is also implementing sanitation activities at shelters for displaced
persons in Monrovia and Buchanan. In 1994, in collaboration with local
non-governmental organizations and shelter sanitation groups, a total of 19
shelter latrines and 13 hand-dug wells equipped with pumps were constructed. In
addition, 28 shelter latrines were de-sludged continuously to maintain sanitary
conditions. To improve the efficiency of this activity, UNICEF has purchased a
small sewage truck.
52. Owing to the increase in the number of displaced persons arriving in
Buchanan, beginning in February 1995, and the acute shortage of water during the
dry season, UNICEF gave support to AICF in providing emergency water supply for
new arrivals. UNICEF is also supporting the health and hygiene education
programme at 12 shelters for displaced persons through a local non-governmental
organization by disseminating messages on diarrhoeal control, personal hygiene,
breast-feeding and EPI.
53. UNDP, through its emergency project, plans to support a micro-project
intended to upgrade 25 of the existing wells which are in poor condition in
Tubmanburg. UNICEF, through HOPE, a local non-governmental organization, plans
to construct eight new wells and rehabilitate two existing wells. WHO and the
United Nations Office for Project Services are collaborating to protect five
wells to help control diarrhoeal disease at Bo, where 35,000 displaced persons
and refugees are concentrated.
E. Education and training
54. The previous report indicated that education opportunities were available
in many counties. The renewed hostilities have wiped out the gains made in this
domain. There are now only a few schools in operation outside Monrovia, in
areas controlled by ECOMOG.
55. In Monrovia, 554 schools are functional, though many are handicapped by
shortage of supplies and equipment. Large numbers of schools have been burnt
down and looted, while others are being used as shelters for the displaced. In
rural Liberia, the fighting in September 1994 in and around Gbarnga reportedly
left the few remaining schools in that area damaged and looted.
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56. In collaboration with WFP and several non-governmental organizations,
UNICEF has initiated a feeding programme and free distribution of school
supplies. These activities are designed to encourage schoolchildren and
teachers to return to schools. In areas where people can afford to pay the
minimum fees for school supplies, UNICEF supports a local non-governmental
organization, Christian Related Education Development Organization (CREDO), in
the implementation of a revolving fund project for school supplies and
equipment. In Monrovia, 400 schools benefit from the fund. About 300 schools
in other areas of the country participate in the revolving fund.
57. UNICEF is funding teacher training workshops to cover areas such as the
development and improvement of the core curriculum for elementary and junior
high schools, war trauma, educational psychology, lesson planning, production of
educational materials, coping with stress and related topics.
58. UNICEF and CREDO facilitated the reopening of the Buchanan curriculum
materials centre by providing educational supplies and equipment. The centre,
which was closed down two years ago as a result of the war, caters to about
58 schools with an enrolment of 20,000 students and 500 teachers in the city of
Buchanan. The Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco undertook a one-year literacy
project for street children in Monrovia funded by UNICEF. Five hundred
children participated in the programme. The Salesian Fathers are also managing
a children’s transit home facility serving 112 children. An additional
47 children benefit from a street literacy programme on Benson Street in central
Monrovia. Don Bosco has also introduced a courier service meant to provide
employment opportunities for young people who have recently been reunited with
their families.
59. Additionally, UNICEF and the New Breed Painters Association (a local
artists’ group in Monrovia) are implementing a children’s art and music project
at three shelters for displaced persons. A mobile school library project is
also being implemented by LWS on behalf of UNICEF. The two projects are
benefiting a total of 1,350 children.
F. Specific target groups
1. Refugees
60. At the end of 1994, UNHCR was providing protection and assistance to
794,000 Liberian refugees in neighbouring west African countries. In Liberia
itself, the office also continues to provide assistance to refugees from Sierra
Leone as well as to Liberian returnees and some 100,000 internally displaced
persons. The deteriorating security situation in Liberia has limited the
assistance provided to refugees and returnees to areas controlled by ECOMOG.
61. While no large-scale organized repatriation of Liberian refugees took place
during the reporting period, spontaneous repatriation continued despite the
volatile political situation. In 1994, UNHCR assisted 6,700 spontaneous
returnees, the majority from Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire. In 1995, the security
situation in neighbouring asylum countries, particularly Sierra Leone, has
caused more Liberian refugees to repatriate. By the end of May 1995, UNHCR in
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Monrovia had received 4,123 returnees from Sierra Leone. It is expected that
this trend will continue.
62. The security situation has also blocked the implementation of plans for
reintegration and rehabilitation activities. It is hoped that, with the
extended deployment of ECOMOG along the roads to Tubmanburg, Bong Mine and
Kakata, UNHCR will be able to introduce quick impact projects for returnees, as
well as participate in community rehabilitation projects with other relief
agencies. Such projects will benefit refugees, returnees and internally
displaced persons. A planning figure of 35,000 refugees has been established
for the UNHCR repatriation programme and related reintegration activities. This
will be reviewed regularly to take account of the evolution of the political
63. Of an estimated 120,000 refugees from Sierra Leone residing in Liberia,
UNHCR currently assists 25,000 on a regular basis and another 35,000 when
security permits. The remaining 60,000 refugees in upper Lofa have been cut off
from any relief activities since December 1993. A joint assessment mission to
upper Lofa in August 1994 reported widespread malnutrition and a deteriorating
health situation. It is also reported that agricultural activities in the area
had been curtailed and most social and administrative infrastructure destroyed.
2. Internally displaced persons
64. Fighting in a number of locations during the reporting period increased the
number of internally displaced persons in Liberia to over 800,000. This group
is often the hardest hit among war-affected populations. Forced to flee with
few or no belongings and without the unique international status of refugees,
displaced persons must be provided with basic survival needs. In Liberia, an
inter-agency effort has allowed for improvement in the delivery of relief items
to this vulnerable group.
65. Those displaced persons who are absorbed by local populations receive food
aid from WFP or CRS and benefit from the multisectoral programmes of a number of
United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations. The nearly 600,000
displaced persons who have sought refuge in 91 camps in secure areas of the
country also benefit from an agreed division of labour among United Nations
agencies, non-governmental organizations and local officials. The United
Nations Office of Project Services, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, CRS, SCF-United Kingdom,
AICF, MSF-Belgium, MSF-France and MSF-Holland are each involved in supporting
displaced shelters in their respective areas of specialty.
66. In order to respond to the sudden large influxes of displaced persons that
occurred in early 1995, the United Nations Resident Coordinator established a
number of emergency task forces. Emergency task forces for Buchanan and
Tubmanburg both sought to ensure an appropriate division of labour among relief
agencies in order to provide a rapid and effective response to these sudden
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3. Children in difficult circumstances
67. Children in difficult circumstances are assisted by UNICEF directly and
through UNICEF-supported networks of local and international non-governmental
organizations. The programme for children in especially difficult circumstances
offers social and counselling services, as well as material assistance to
orphanages and institutions caring for abandoned, displaced and refugee
children. Tracing the families of unaccompanied children and reuniting them are
top priorities for UNICEF. In 1994, 95 children in Monrovia were reunited with
their families; 30 reunited children received US$ 6.00 each to cover initial
tuition, uniform cost and copy book expenses, while 29 others received
resettlement packages, including food and non-food items.
68. UNICEF also supports 2,000 orphaned and abandoned children in Gbarnga and
Monrovia. Hundreds of these orphans are now trapped in battle zones. UNICEF
provides basic maintenance to allow orphanages to continue operating, as well
providing food supplements, beds, blankets, clothes, soap and other basic relief
69. The continued fighting in Liberia has intensified the severe war trauma
suffered by children. In response to this phenomenon, UNICEF is currently
implementing a war trauma counsellors’ training project at the American
Methodist Episcopalian (AME) Zion Community College in Monrovia. By the end of
July 1995, the project had trained 133 counsellors. The College will eventually
develop a full trauma research and documentation institution.
70. In addition, UNICEF has finalized a treatment and rehabilitation plan to
assist 275 disabled children. Most of the children are between the ages of 7
and 15 and are affected by polio. The Benedict Menni Rehabilitation Centre for
Children, which was destroyed in the war, has been rebuilt and is serving as a
referral centre for physically handicapped children. The orthopaedic workshop
of the Centre has been renovated and is manufacturing artificial limbs.
Training of physiotherapy and orthopaedic assistants has also begun. A
nine-month physiotherapy training with 10 trainees, 5 of them females, has just
ended. In addition, a mobile unit assesses injuries and disabilities in rural
areas. At the beginning of 1995, UNICEF began extending the services to young
adults, especially young women.
71. UNICEF is also offering over 300 street children and former child
combatants vocational and agricultural training coupled with a literacy
programme and food assistance. When security permits, UNICEF plans to establish
similar vocational/literacy training centres in Kakata, Gbarnga, Klay and
Voinjama for some 6,000 child soldiers who are expected to demobilize in those
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4. The elderly
72. The plight of elderly displaced persons continues to be the special concern
of a local non-governmental organization, Special Emergency Relief for the
Elderly (SERE). With assistance from UNDP, other United Nations agencies and a
number of non-governmental organizations, SERE is able to provide this forgotten
vulnerable group with shelter and basic needs in food, health, water and
5. Abused women and girls
73. Evidence continues to indicate that the Liberian conflict involves a high
incidence of rape and sexual abuse. UNICEF, in collaboration with the National
Women’s Council of Liberia, has established centres for abused women and girls
in Monrovia and Buchanan. There are plans to extend the centres to Tubmanburg
and Gbarnga. The centres, referred to as "My Sister’s Place", offer trauma
counselling, medical and legal services, sex education, HIV/AIDS counselling and
income-generation training. In addition to counselling at the centres, mobile
teams visit shelters for displaced persons and offer services. To date, 28,000
abused women have been reached through direct counselling centres for displaced
persons both in Monrovia and Buchanan. In response to the influx of displaced
persons into Buchanan in early 1995, UNICEF increased the number of female
trauma counsellors working with the population, 70 per cent of which is women
and children.
74. Women and girls also benefit from UNDP assistance in the development of
micro-enterprises. Currently, out of 838 micro-enterprises, 65 per cent are
owned by women and girls, some of whom fall in the above target group. This
income-generation scheme helps to decrease dependence on food aid.
75. The humanitarian assistance effort in Liberia has relied on contributions
from the international community - both bilateral and multilateral - in response
to several appeals issued by the Secretary-General since 1990. Contributions
for the period from November 1990 to December 1994 amounted to
US$ 232.4 million.
76. In January 1995, the Secretary-General issued an inter-agency appeal
seeking US$ 65 million in assistance for the period through June 1995. The
appeal was later extended to the end of August 1995. As of 30 August 1995,
contributions of US$ 53 million had been made to this most recent appeal. In
addition, US$ 7.7 million is known to have been contributed for humanitarian
assistance to Liberia outside the framework of the appeal, bilaterally, through
non-governmental organizations or directly through United Nations agencies. As
has traditionally been the case, the response to food sector requirements of the
most recent appeal has been excellent. Support for non-food-sector activities,
while improved from the last appeal, remains relatively weak.
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77. On 4 October, the Secretary-General issued a further inter-agency appeal
for Liberia. The appeal covers the period from September 1995 to August 1996
and seeks US$ 110 million required by United Nations humanitarian assistance
agencies to carry out their work in Liberia. Activities reflected in the
appeal are designed to address the acute humanitarian crises that continue to
affect Liberia, as well as to provide essential services in the war-ravaged
country. Wherever possible, the appeal looks beyond the short term and seeks to
initiate programmes with a longer-term view, emphasizing community-level
78. On 27 October, the Secretary-General will take additional action in
support of the peace process by convening a meeting of Member States to
address Liberia’s rehabilitation, reconstruction and demobilization
79. By its resolution 49/21 E of 20 December 1994, the General Assembly
reiterated its appeal to the international community and intergovernmental
organizations to contribute generously to the Trust Fund established by the
Secretary-General, in order to enable ECOMOG to fulfil its mandate and to help
defray the cost of deployment of additional troops from outside the subregion.
Response to this appeal continues to be weak. The Government of the United
States is the only significant contributor, with a commitment of approximately
US$ 22.2 million to the Trust Fund as of 13 September 1995. Other contributions
include US$ 1 million from the United Kingdom, US$ 294,616 from Denmark,
US$ 291,056 from Norway and US$ 261,584 from the Netherlands.
80. On 8 May 1995, the Secretary-General invited Member States and other donors
to provide information on assistance extended to Liberia in the framework of
General Assembly resolution 49/21 E. Replies were received from the following
81. Finland contributed 1 million markkaa to Liberia in 1995 through UNICEF.
82. Humanitarian assistance provided to Liberia by the Government of Germany
was as follows:
Year Amount (deutsche mark)
1992 364,900
1993 1,705,835
1994 1,001,322
1995 567,000 (as of 6 July 1995)
83. In addition, in 1995, Germany has sponsored rehabilitation and development
projects in the amount of 2.5 million deutsche mark.
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84. Ireland contributed 50,000 Irish pounds for programmes in Liberia during
1995, including 35,000 pounds for displaced Liberians in Buchanan and 15,000
pounds for a mobile medical clinic for abandoned and displaced children.
85. During fiscal year 1994, the Government of Japan provided the following
Organization Amount Programme
ICRC SwF 300,000 Relief operation for refugees
UNHCR US$ 500,000 Repatriation of Liberian refugees
WFP US$ 1,900,000 4,933 tons of rice as food assistance
for persons affected by the conflict
in Liberia
86. Humanitarian assistance activities are beginning to recover from the
set-backs suffered in late 1994, when warring factions looted the equipment and
vehicles of relief organizations operating in their areas of influence. These
events reflected a deterioration in the security situation that forced the
suspension of most humanitarian assistance activities in areas outside ECOMOG
control. Since then, advances have been made in regaining access to areas that
had been cut off. A number of non-governmental organizations, on behalf of WFP,
have been delivering food across the border from Côte d’Ivoire. Other relief
organizations are exploring ways to reach areas in Lofa county that have been
cut off from aid since late 1993. The securing of roads from Monrovia inland to
a number of key towns has also had a positive impact on relief operations. As a
result of this development it is now possible to consider delivering
humanitarian assistance to these areas directly from Monrovia, rather than
through time-consuming and costly cross-border operations. A number of United
Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, including UNICEF, WHO and
WFP, have taken initial steps to this end.
87. Despite these gains, security constraints continue to limit humanitarian
assistance programmes. The relief community in Liberia will continue to address
this issue by seeking access to greater numbers of Liberians, based on the
humanitarian principles of neutrality and impartiality. Increased access,
however, requires minimum levels of security. In view of the recent cease-fire,
it should be possible to expand the reach of humanitarian assistance fairly
quickly. However, the problem of food shortages among combatants may complicate
this effort.
88. It is increasingly clear that any plan for sustainable progress in the
rehabilitation of Liberia must include a credible programme for the
demobilization and reintegration of combatants into civil society. Estimates
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indicate there are 50,000 to 60,000 fighters of whom as many as 15,000 are
children. After more than five years of war, many of these fighters know no
other way of life. The demobilization and reintegration programme for Liberia
must, therefore, be tailored to accommodate the specific needs of underaged
fighters. The United Nations system and its partners in Liberia must continue
to devote themselves to creating opportunities for fighters to take up
productive and fulfilling alternatives to their current, violent existence. If
combatants are not offered such alternatives, Liberia could remain destabilized,
despite any progress in peace negotiations. Successful demobilization and
reintegration of fighters into civil society is a critical component of the
transition to normalcy in Liberia.
89. The recent positive developments in the peace process have highlighted the
important role to be played by the humanitarian community in this effort.
United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations and their partners are
developing a programme to assure the smooth and permanent reabsorption of
demobilized fighters into civilian society. The initial components of such a
programme have been incorporated in the latest inter-agency humanitarian appeal
for Liberia, launched in early October 1995. Efforts are under way to complete
the comprehensive demobilization, disarmament and reintegration programme.
1/ S/26272, annex.
2/ S/1995/7, annexes I and II.
3/ S/1995/742, annex.