-Its Impact, Prospects and Challenges
“Everyone Has the Right to a Nationality” and Refugees Too Have Rights…
The Liberia Refugee, Resettlement and Reintegration Commission (LRRRC) is an agency of the government of Liberia established through an Act of the National Legislature.
It has as its mission, duties and responsibilities to the Liberian society and beyond the task to provide protection for refugees (returnees) and internally displaced persons (IDPs) while at the same time caring for their shelters and livelihoods for said categories of people named above.
In the last one decade and a half (15) now, the LRRRC has been able to host and provide for the wellbeing of thousands of refugees coming from neighboring countries including Ivory Coast and Sierra Leone as a result of civil conflicts, internally displaced persons during the heat of the Liberian civil wars in partnership with other international humanitarian and relief organizations worldwide as well as Liberian returnees from their countries of refuge they fled to as a result of the 14 years of civil unrest in their native land (Liberia).
Program of the Commission
The LRRRC plays a major or lead role in the following categories of people in the Liberian society and beyond:
Caring for Liberian refugees to return home and be resettled and reintegrated in the Liberian society and at the same time provides shelters and livelihoods for both returnees and refugees from neighboring countries.
Deferred Enforced Departure (DED)-preparing Liberians residing outside of the country to safely return to their native land.
Catering for the wellbeing and protection of the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) either as a result of flood or any unforeseen circumstances like fire or earthquake.
Caring for stranded migrants. Liberians who may one reason or another be caught in a situation of not being able to return to Liberia or go further into other countries in search of improved living standards because of condition he or she finds herself in.
The commission is currently headed by its New Executive Director Rev. Festus R. B. Logan
LRRRC New Executive Director Rev. Festus R. B. Logan
Most Recent Activities
The Government of Liberia though the recommendation and collaboration of the LRRRC recently certificated 300 Sierra Leonean refugees to gain Liberian citizenship while fifty (50) of them (Sierra Leoneans) were granted Liberian citizenship as the rest are being processed.
Sierra Leoneans refugees being granted Liberian citizenship needed here
The commission has also witnessed the visitation of several refugee camps in Liberia that host hundreds of Ivorian refugees who fled to the country more than a decade ago.
The camps are in Bahn, Nimba County, Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County and Webo, Maryland County.
Pictorial View of Ivorian Refugees in Grand Gedeh visited by LRRRC authorities
Overview of one of the Liberian Refugee Camps in Eastern Liberia
Plans In Sight
The LRRRC as an agency that wants to ensure that everyone is meaningfully a part of society and makes contribution for the development of the country has decided to help reintegrate those the new Executive Director of the Commission, Rev. Festus R. B. Logan described as “People of concern” commonly known as ‘Zogoes’ in Liberia and make them useful in society thus making them to have a second chance to live again with sound minds through skill training programs that will provide them the opportunities to make their (zogoes) own money.
Additionally, the commission has planned to engage in agricultural program that will help bring about durable food security for both local and integrated persons as she plans to also build 100 housing units in partnership with other humanitarian and relief organizations.
Rev. Logan and a worker on a Cassava mill and finished Product from the cassava in pictures
As we speak, the distribution of food and non-food items are taking place for flood affected victims or persons to be followed by cash.
The commission currently has regional or sub-offices in refugee concentrated counties like Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland.
The USA Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) is that document that grants permission to citizens of other countries illegally or otherwise residing in the United States of America by the US government to give them breathing space as they (illegal US residents) prepare to be sent back to their home countries which Liberians are part.
As part of the LRRRC’s role in receiving said category of people of the Liberian society, the Executive Director of the commission has expressed readiness in entering into negotiations with needed and concerned authorities both with the government of Liberia and the US government to have an amicable solution to the problem saying, adding additional four thousand Liberians to the already suffering masses of the country’s population in the midst of the current crippling economic hardship of the country will only make matter worse and must claim the attention of all concerned.
According to the LRRRC boss, one of the major challenges of the commission is that it is underfunded.
As per the 2018/2019 Fiscal Budget of the country, the commission has a little over 500 thousand United States Dollars which Mr. Logan said is mainly for salaries and office (building) rental fees. This means that the commission has little or no operational funding to undertake projects as anticipated by its new administration.
However, Rev. Logan who was full of praises for his staffs said the commission is blessed to have a competent, qualified and resourceful workforce and therefore will top on their expertise to think about writing SMART proposals that will help the commission to win grants aimed at undertaking extra projects geared toward positively impacting the Liberian society.
If Everyone must have the right to a nationality, all hands must be on deck and central government provides the needed support that will help the commission runs the way it should especially with the vigor, zest and energy seen in the voice and actions of its new administration headed by Rev. Logan.
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