-As They Tour Various Refugee Camps
A delegation comprising of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Liberia has successfully concluded a visit to the southeast of the country.
The mission according to a release was led by LRRRC’s Executive Director, Festus Logan and UNHCR Liberia Representative, Madam Fatima Mohamed held meetings with refugees, local authorities and host communities.
Ivorian refugees in the area have been residing in a peaceful and welcoming environment in camps (PTP Camp in Grand Gedeh County, Little Wlebo in Maryland County, Bahn Refugee Camp in Nimba County as well as in nearby Liberian communities.
The release said ED Logan took the opportunity to extend greetings from President George Weah to the refugees, mainly Ivorians, while acknowledging their law-abiding disposition since their arrival to the country in 2010 when they fled violence from Ivory Coast.
Throughout the one-week visit, the release said both delegations stressed their commitment towards supporting the local integration of those refugees who opt to remain in Liberia as well as those Ivorian refugees who request voluntary repatriation to Cote ‘Ivoire.
“The Government of Liberia is working in collaboration with UNHCR and other partners in order to ensure that the local integration of Ivorian refugees succeeds,” LRRRC’s Executive Director Logan said.
At the same time, Madam Fatima Mohamed of UNHCR added “in this phase of our refugee program (local integration), we will double our efforts and collaboration with the government ministries to ensure mainstreaming of refugee services. Health, education etc. into the national framework”.
LRRRC and UNHCR said they took note of the challenges highlighted by the refugee’s leadership in PTP, Little Wlebo and Bahn Refugee camps as well as their gratitude towards the Government of Liberia and the local communities hosting them.
Meanwhile, there are currently 10,887 refugees living in Liberia, including 10,791 Ivorians, 374 Sierra Leoneans,63 refugees of various nationalities and 33 asylum seekers. The local integration of those refugees opting to remain in Liberia started in 2016 and is being done in phases: inclusion into national structures such as education and health, establishing livelihoods, transformation of camps into villages and settlements and legalizing the integration process.