U.N. Agencies Launch Over US$137 Million Appeal For Liberia

By: J. Moses Gray

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted November 24, 2003

The United Nations Inter-agency operating in the country has launched a US$137million Consolidated Appeal for humanitarian aid for Liberia. The amount covers the UN agencies programmes for 2004.

Addressing journalists yesterday on the Consolidated Appeal for Liberia, Madam Ahunna Exiakonwa, an official of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the amount excluded additional US$40,365,726 appealed made by the World Food Program (WFP) under the West Africa appeal.

According to the breakdown of the amount, US$52,868,491 is allocated for multi-sector, US$30,855,255 for Health; US$19,277,349 economic recovery and infrastructure while agriculture carried US$1,593,900, respectively.

The breakdown and allocation among other shows US$10,967,954 for protection, human rights and rule of law, US$9,349,430 for water and sanitation, US$6,968,182 for education, US$3,482,921 for Coordination and support services, US$1,500,000 family shelter and non-food items while security and carried US$228,000 respectively.

Areas of main humanitarian priorities include to continue providing protection and assistance to vulnerable groups such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees; to support the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process and to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sierra Leonean refugees and third country nationals.

The priorities areas also include to support the resumption of basic social services, especially in health and nutrition, water and sanitation and education; to support human rights promotion, protection and the prevention of abuses, to support the return and reintegration of populations as security improves and to support the resumption of agricultural and other productive activities.
Besides, a document released by the UN Inter-agency among other things said some 80% of Liberians live below the poverty line; and 35% are undernourished.

It also said 25% of people have access t safe water; and 36% to proper sanitation facilities, adding that 28% of the population are immunished. The document further that a vast majority of people are illiterate while less than 10% of arable land is under cultivation.

The document further that in large parts of the country that were previously inaccessible, people faced a worsening humanitarian situation aggravated by widespread looting, destruction, damage and virtual collapse of social services sectors.

Accordingly, over 1.7 million people are thought to be in need of humanitarian assistance. These include 500,000 IDPs, 38,000 combatants and dependents, some 15,000 children associated with the fighting forces.

The Consolidated Appeal will also address the need of some 11,000 Sierra Leonean refugees, 38,000 Ivorian refugees, 150,000 Liberian returnees, 10,500 third country nationals, among others.

Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of UN, Kofi Annan, on Wednesday launched the largest annual global appeal for humanitarian aid.

The US$3 billion Consolidated Appeal for aid in 2004 is to help give the lives of 45 million people in 21 of the World’s most serious crisis, 17 of which are in Africa.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.