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Liberia: ICRC activity report 2006

02-02-2007 Operational Update

The following is an overview of ICRC activities carried out in Liberia from January to December 2006.

   
  ©ICRC/B. Heger/lr-e-00181    
 
  Lofa county, Poluwo. A father finds his daughter with the help of the ICRC tracing service. Writing a Red Cross message to let the rest of the family know that the little girl has arrived safely.    
     
 
 
   
  ©ICRC/B. Heger/lr-e-00254    
 
  Monrovia. Dissemination session on IHL and human rights for police recruits at the National Police Academy.    
     
 
 
   
  ©ICRC/B. Heger/lr-e-00193    
 
  Lofa county, Fissebu. IHL dissemination session for children organized by the ICRC and the Liberian Red Cross.    
     
 
 
   
  ©ICRC/B. Heger/lr-e-00206    
 
  Lofa county, Zorzor. ICRC distribution of seeds and food.    
     
 
 
   
  ©ICRC/B. Heger/lr-e-00263    
 
  Detainee at Monrovia central prison. The ICRC continues to visit detainees in places of detention throughout the country.    
      
 
Protection and family links 
 

    

To restore contact between children and their families separated by the war, the ICRC:

  • reunified 114 Liberian children with their families or closest relatives;

  • visited over 250 Liberian children who had been reunited with loved ones, to monitor their integration in the families;

  • offered schooling, skills training, income-generating projects, and shelters to 70 children who had been reunited with families and in need of protection;

  • collected and distributed 30,000 Red Cross messages (RCMs) with the collaboration of the Liberian National Red Cross Society (LNRCS);

  • visited almost 900 detainees in 23 places of detention throughout the country to assess their living conditions and treatment, and restored contact between them and their families.

    

 
Promotion of IHL 
 

    

To increase knowledge of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Red Cross values among the military, police and civil society, the I CRC in 2006:

  • organized 14 dissemination sessions on IHL for 290 UNMIL (United Nations Mission in Liberia) officers and military observers in Monrovia;

  • carried out 19 dissemination sessions on IHL and human rights for nearly 900 police recruits and correctional staff officers at the National Police Academy, Monrovia;

  • organized two days'IHL training for 106   recruits of the new Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) at the Barclay Training Centre in Monrovia. They were taught basic IHL principles, conduct of hostilities, distinction between military and civilian objectives, and treatment of prisoners of war;

  • carried out six field dissemination sessions on IHL, ICRC activities, working modalities, Red Cross and Red Crescent movement principles. The sessions were given to Ethiopians, Pakistanis, Chinese and Senegalese UNMIL battalions present in the Lofa, Maryland, Grand-Gedeh, and River Gee Counties;

  • conducted one dissemination session on IHL, human rights, and ICRC activities and working modalities for 250 people from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), Monrovia;

  • held two workshops on IHL and ICRC's protection activities for 22 representatives of local human rights organizations, including the Independent Human Rights Commission of Liberia;

  • organized 34   dissemination sessions to 429 community leaders, and 174 Development Superintendents, City Majors, County leaders and Officials in Grand Gedeh, River Gee, Grand Kru, Maryland, Nimba, and Lofa Counties.

 
Assistance 
 

    

 Relief assistance  

    

In 2006 the ICRC helped residents and people returning to the most vulnerable communities to rebuild their homes, begin farming again, and restore their livelihoods.

  • Some 32,000 households (192,000 beneficiaries) received tools and essential household items in Lofa, Gbarpolu, Nimba, Bong, Bomi, Cape Mount and Rivercess counties.

  • In all, nearly 40,000 households (238,290 beneficiaries) received seeds weighing 1,080 metric tonnes, and 970 metric tonnes of food in the counties of Lofa, Gbarpolu, Nimba, Bong, Bomi, Cape Mount and Rivercess.

  • Some 8,300 farmers in Lofa received support in clearing their coffee, cocoa and pineapple plantations, as part of a project to revive cash-crop farming. The support included 456 metric tonnes of food-for-work.

  • Financial support for the building of 7,000 houses to provide shelter for 7,000 widows and vulnerable families mostly in Lofa.

  • Installation of five hand-operated cassava mills in Grand Kru county.

 Water and habitat  

To improve access to safe water, for residents and returnees, and sanitation facilities, plus to improve communities'hygiene, the ICRC:

  • rehabilitated 150 existing wells and constructed 150 new ones to cover the need for safe water for 75,000 beneficiaries;

  • constructed 154 latrines ranging from institutional, communal to family types with a total of 474 access doors, serving approximately 8,500 persons;

  • conducted 15 training sessions for 100 community members in the management of facilities (water committee and pump mechanic);

  • conducted 51 sessions promoting hygiene in rural activities, aimed at raising co mmunities'awareness of hygienic behaviour, and reducing waterborne- and sanitation-related diseases;

  • trained some 223 promoters on the concept of hygiene, which then reached approximately 4,750 community members.

 Health  

    

To support the Ministry of Health and the County Health Team in providing basic health care to the people of Lofa and Grand Kru, the ICRC carried out work as follows:

  • Just over 114,000 consultations were held at health facilities that had been rehabilitated and constructed by the ICRC. Seven took place in Lofa (Voinjama health centre, Bondi, Duogomai, Vezela, Kamatahun, Popalahun, and Lukasu), and five in Grand Kru (Behwan, Garaway, Gblebo, Barclayville, and Grand Cess).

  • Some 22,821 doses of vaccines were administered and 10,760 antenatal consultations were performed.

  • Nearly 1,600 patients were admitted and 28,000 laboratory tests were performed.

  • Some 1,070 mosquito nets were distributed to children under five, and pregnant women in the Lofa and Grand Kru communities; midwives on their training course also received one.

  • The ICRC in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) trained 125 traditional midwives, while 124 others were given a refreshment course.

  • A total of 222 community health educators received training from ICRC-supported health structures, 145 from Lofa and 77 from Grand Kru.

  • Around 200 staff working in clinics received monthly incentives from the ICRC; needed drugs were also supplied to the facility. 

 
Cooperation with the Liberian National Red Cross (LNRCS) 
 

The ICRC in 2006 continued to provide technical and financial support to enable the LNRCS to accomplish its humanitarian mandate.

  • LNRCS senior management staff (35 in all) from HQ and chapters attended a two-day working session to reflect on the National Society's (NS) organizational development priorities and on strengthening the relationship between the chapters and headquarters.

  • Some 36 tracing officers attended a working session on the assessment of NS tracing networks.

  • A total of 15 newly recruited Humanitarian Value officers attended eight days of training on tracing, communication and various policies of the Movement.

  • Some 3,250 families received agricultural tools and 81 tonnes of rice-seed. The LNRCS water and sanitation unit assessed 450 wells for contamination and treated 42 with chlorination. It also organized 13 water committees to promote community ownership.

  • First-aid training and refresher courses were given in Monrovia to 1,920 community members, 347 Firestone staff, and 55 new volunteers.

  • The basic humanitarian value principles contained in the comic book " Battle of the Villages " were explained to 69 schools, representing 2,607 students.

  • Briefings were conducted for 1,913 people from 12 media institutions, and a week-long " Youth Camp " for 105 youths from all 15 counties was organized.