Leading Donors Reaffirm Commitment to Liberia’s Stability
By: Lewis K. Glay
The leading donors said they remain supportive to working with the Liberian Government, the U.N. and other international organizations to improve the coordination and return process of internally displaced persons and refugees’ repatriation in the country.
Representatives of the donors gave the assurance recently during a press conference held at the USIS Library at Mamba Point.
The news conference climaxed a four day visit of a joint EC – US delegation to Liberia which commenced 20-24 February 2005, aimed at evaluating the efforts now underway to improve conditions for the return of Liberian refugees and internally displaced persons to their counties of origin.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), Linda Thompson-Greenfield led the US delegation while Steffen Stenburg, European Commission Humanitarian Aid Head (ECHO) of Unit for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries led the EC delegation respectively.
The both heads expressed satisfaction over what they observed to be positive developments in the country especially the improved security conditions as well as the increasing number of spontaneous and voluntary return of Liberian refugees and IDPs back homes.
The donors said they will continue to shift towards strengthening social services and development activities of the IDPs and refugees in their counties of origin. The refugees and IDPs they noted, need to be informed about their participation in the electoral process of the country because according to them the successful conduct of the October 2005 elections remains an important step in Liberia’s reconstruction and future.
The joint delegation visited Bomi and Lofa counties, UNHCR transit camps,
drop off points, health centers as well as recently rehabilitated schools.
International and UN related agencies such as UNHCR, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP,
ICRC, and IOM which are actively involved in repatriation and reintegration
process were also consulted.
In the two-year period 2004-2005 the US Government will contribute over USD500m to support humanitarian efforts, disarmament and demobilization, reintegration and other aspects of Liberia’s reconstruction in the gesture, the European Union, between 2003 and 2005 contributed USD313m (240 million euros) for the same process.