Boston Based NGO (MRRDN) Assesses Conditions of 60,000 Internally Displaced Persons
...Commences Distribution Of Food and Non food Items
By: J. Moses Gray/ Editor
Posted October 28, 2003
A high-power delegation of an international humanitarian, relief and developmental organization, Mano River Relief and Development Network(MRRDN), is in the country to assess the pressing humanitarian situation in the country.
The visiting MRRDN delegation is headed by its executive director, Mrs. Geraldine Pierre-Kaba. Also part of the delegation is Mr. Joseph Edmund Weeks, the Financial Director of the organization.
MRRDN has its headquarters in the historic City of Boston, Massachusetts(USA) with representative groups throughout the United States and outreach/affiliate groups in the Mano River Basin of West Africa.
The MRRDN Executive Director Madam Kaba accompanied by a team of local staff on Tuesday, paid a one-day visit to two major IDPs camps near Monrovia to get first-hand information and assess the plight of the several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and other vulnerable and war-affected persons.
While at the two IDP camps, the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex and the Soul Clinic in the suburbs of Paynesville, few miles from the capital, the destitute IDPs speaking through their spokesmen, Messrs J. Omasco Karmo, Sr. and Peter Vah, talked of their precarious situation.
Welcoming the MRRDN Director’s visit, the IDPs spokesmen recounted the acute shortage of relief food and non-food items they are faced with, saying that starvation has claimed the lives of 10 persons at the S. K. Doe Sports Complex and two other lives at the Soul Clinic. They also said due to the severity of hunger, an unidentified lady was forced to dump her child in a pit latrine.
On the IDPs population, the spokesmen told the MRRDN boss that both camps have a population of over 60,000 persons, with 46,408 at S. K. Doe Sports Complex and 15,000 at Soul Clinic.
The IDPs leadership then took the MRRDN boss on a guided tour of the camps and among areas visited were the homes of old folks, children and baby-mothers.
The tour of the camps showed the MRRDN delegation signs of the suffering the IDPs are enduring. They saw some hunger-stricken children crying for food while several old folks and able-bodied men and women could not stand but were only lying in bed due to hunger.
Commenting on the plight of the IDPs, Madam Kaba said she has been highly touched and wondered what was happening for which the IDPs have to be without relief food and other non-essential items.
She expressed her sympathy for the plight of the IDPs, something she described as very disturbing and troubling, and added that the MRRDN will shortly come to their aid
Meanwhile, the MRRDN will, over the weekend, engage itself in the distribution of relief items to the vulnerable population, particularly the elderly and children at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.
Items to be distributed include non-food items like cooking utensils, plastic spoons, and paper plates; whilst rice and palm oil will constitute the edibles. The items, according to the MRRDN Executive Director, will be distributed to the vulnerable groups through the camp management team. Already, the organization has started distributing T-shirts bearing the name of the organization.
The MRRDN planned future programs for Liberia include, but not limited to, human rights advocacy, relief distribution of cooking utensils, relief supply and the Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Awareness Program.
MRRDN’s envisages a region where every person is capable of exercising his or her right to life, liberty, and happiness without violence, ethnic or civil strife. It works in partnership with other organizations and affiliates to achieve its goals and objectives.
The organization believes that the causes of humanitarian problems in the Mano River region must first and foremost be articulated by Africans, and the resolution of these pressing demands be sought through the facilitation of international cooperation.