September 13, 2004
A high level delegation of Church leaders , Medical Doctors and other related
professionals is scheduled to arrive in Liberia in late September to conduct
an independent assessment of Liberia's health needs with special emphasis on
rehabilitation and mental health.
The delegation led by the President of the HUB Ministries International Rev. Dr. J. Edwin Lloyd, Sr., is slated to meet and hold talks with the Chairman and relevant high ranking officials of the National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) including the Minister of Health and United Nations representatives. As part of its mission, the delegation will also meet with civil society leaders including representatives of local and international non-governmental organizations (NGO's), business executives, religious leaders, local and ethnic community Leaders as well as members of the Diplomatic Community.
In a letter to the delegation , NTGL Chairman Charles Gyude Bryant underscored the need for increased assistance in the area of mental health and rehabilitation. He encouraged members of the delegation to explore ways and means to join in as partners to achieve a worthy goal as he invited the team for further discussions.
"Our goal is to provide health services to the needy with particular emphasis in mental health" Rev. Lloyd noted in a memorandum to sponsors in the U.S. He explained that the delegation's primary focus will be placed on disadvantaged women, children and the elderly extending to the mentally and physically disabled. He said the principal goal of the mission, is to provide rehabilitation services to the more than sixty thousand FORMER CHILD COMBATANTS who are left with nothing but postwar trauma and stress. The outspoken Baptist Minister who is renowned for his illustruous service in the 1980's as President of the Liberian National Red Cross Society concluded "It is no secret that these minors were abusively drafted by warlords into their illegal rebel forces, trained into violent activities, packed with dangerous drugs and made to kill innocent people including their own kindred, just out of greed and personal aggrandizement."
The Delegation’s visit to Liberia comes at the heels of recent criticism by the head of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Carol Bellamy, who criticized donor during a recent visit to Liberia for the minimal effort directed towards reintegration and rehabilitation programs. Bellamy expressed particular concern for the 5,800 former child soldiers who have reported for demobilization since UN peacekeepers launched a drive to disarm Liberia's three factions in December last year. According to UNICEF statistics, 85% of the 5,800 children formerly associated with fighting forces who have so far been demobilized have gone home to their families. A further 970 are still living at interim care centres, waiting for their families to be traced.
The HUB Ministries International Inc. and Affiliates is a joint venture of faith based humanitarian organizations based in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. In collaboration with the Liberian Medical Association, the group embarked upon a LIVES SAVING basic and essential health assistance program for the war ravished population of Liberia, West Africa in the Spring of 2004.
Public Affairs Division
HUB Ministries International & Affiliates
Rev. Dr. J. Edwin Eukpeeh-Lloyd,
The Hub Ministries International, Inc. & Affiliates
11653 Lockwood Drive, Suite -T-3
Silver Spring, Maryland, 20904
TEL / FAX: 301- 593-2673, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org