United Nations


General Assembly

Distr. GENERAL  

23 August 1996



General Assembly
Fifty-first session
Item 21 (b) of the provisional agenda*

*    A/51/150.

                             COUNTRIES OR REGIONS

             Assistance for the rehabilitation and reconstruction
                                  of Liberia

                        Report of the Secretary-General


                                                              Paragraphs Page

 I.   INTRODUCTION ..........................................    1 - 5     3


III.  SUPPORT FOR THE PEACE PROCESS .........................   20 - 31    7

      A. Assistance for peace monitoring ...................    20 - 26    7

      B. Initiatives for rehabilitation, reconstruction and
         national reconciliation ...........................    27 - 31    9


      A. Food and nutrition ................................    32 - 37   11

      B. Agriculture .......................................    38 - 39   12
      C. Health and medical care ...........................    40 - 46   13

      D. Water and sanitation ..............................    47 - 48   14

      E. Education and training ............................    49 - 52   15

      F. Specific target groups ............................    53 - 67   15

 V.   NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ........................   68 - 69   19


VII.  CONCLUSIONS ...........................................   83 - 87   21

                               I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   In its resolution 50/58 A of 12 December 1995, the General
Assembly, inter alia, took note of the progress made by the Liberian
parties at Abuja, Nigeria, towards a peaceful resolution of the
conflict through the induction of a Council of State and the
installation of the second Liberian National Transitional Government.

2.   The Assembly called upon Member States and intergovernmental and
non-governmental organizations to continue to provide Liberia with
technical, financial and other assistance for the repatriation and
resettlement of Liberian refugees, returnees and displaced persons and
the rehabilitation of combatants.  In the same vein, it reiterated its
appeal to the international community to contribute generously to the
Trust Fund for Liberia, established by the Secretary-General, to
assist the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)
Monitoring Group (ECOMOG) to fulfil its mandate and also to provide
assistance for the reconstruction of Liberia.

3.   Furthermore, the Assembly emphasized the urgent need for all
parties and factions in Liberia to respect fully the security and
safety of all personnel of the United Nations, its specialized
agencies, non-governmental organizations and ECOMOG by ensuring their
complete freedom of movement throughout Liberia and to take all
measures necessary to create an atmosphere conducive to the successful
resolution of the conflict.

4.   The Assembly also requested the Secretary-General to continue his
efforts to mobilize all possible assistance within the United Nations
system to help the Government of Liberia in its reconstruction and
development efforts; to undertake, when conditions permit, in close
collaboration with the authorities of Liberia, an overall assessment
of needs, with the objective of holding a round-table conference of
donors for the reconstruction and development of Liberia; and to
report to it at its fifty-first session on the progress made in the
implementation of the resolution.

5.   Pursuant to that resolution, the present report describes the
activities of the humanitarian assistance community in Liberia in
fulfilling those goals since the issuance of the previous report of
the Secretary-General (A/50/522) in October 1995.


6.   During the period under review, the United Nations has maintained
its efforts towards supporting the peace process in Liberia,
delivering humanitarian assistance to victims of the conflict,
catering to the emergency needs of displaced persons, accessing
populations cut off behind front lines and formulating a comprehensive
non-targeted reintegration programme for refugees, displaced persons
and ex-combatants.  Prior to the Abuja Agreement in August 1995, the
emphasis had been on negotiating access to populations trapped behind
lines of combat.  After the Agreement, priorities shifted to
(a) providing humanitarian assistance to populations in the newly
accessed areas; (b) reorienting relief programmes towards
developmental programmes; (c) liaising with the new Government; (d)
meeting emergency needs of civilians displaced by persistent fighting
between the factions in spite of their agreement to a ceasefire; and
(e) formulating plans to ensure the success of the expected
demobilization, repatriation and resettlement of Liberians affected by
the war.

7.   Following the Peace Agreement, significant and successful efforts
were made to expand humanitarian activities throughout Liberia.  For
instance, in September and November 1995, United Nations agencies and
non-governmental organizations accessed previously inaccessible areas
in Grand Gedeh, Sinoe and Lofa counties.  Other encouraging
developments were also under way.

8.   With this background, the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance
Coordination Office was established in Liberia and a United Nations
Humanitarian Coordinator appointed following consultation among
members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee and key donors.  The
Coordinator arrived in Liberia in late November 1995.  The mandate and
role of the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Office
and the Coordinator are derived from both the General Assembly
resolution that established the Department of Humanitarian Affairs
(resolution 46/182) and the thirteenth progress report of the
Secretary-General on Liberia (S/1995/881).  The Coordinator functions
under the overall authority of the Special Representative of the
Secretary-General and reports directly to the United Nations Emergency
Relief Coordinator.

9.   The primary function of the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance
Coordination Office is to facilitate and ensure the quick, effective
and well-coordinated provision of humanitarian assistance to those
affected by the war, and to be directly responsible for the
organization and delivery of services for the demobilization of
combatants and coordinating programmes to facilitate their return to
productive civilian life in society.  The Office consists of two
units:  a Humanitarian Assistance Unit, which supports the Coordinator
in carrying out his coordination duties, and a Demobilization and
Reintegration Unit, which was to implement the demobilization process
and facilitate the initial stages of reintegration.  The Office has
improved coordination of the delivery of humanitarian assistance,
increased the flow, sharing and dissemination of information,
contributed to the expansion of humanitarian assistance activities to
hitherto inaccessible areas, initiated rapid responses to emergencies,
carried out humanitarian advocacy and defended the interests of the
humanitarian community.

10.  During the autumn of 1995, the Liberian National Transitional
Government established three commissions to work with the humanitarian
assistance community:  the Liberian Refugee Repatriation and
Resettlement Commission, to deal with the resettlement of refugees and
displaced persons; the National Disarmament and Demobilization
Commission, to be responsible for all activities aimed at the
disarmament and demobilization of combatants, and the National
Readjustment Commission, to deal with those disabled or affected by
the war.  Additionally, the Ministry of Planning and Economic Affairs
was charged with the responsibility for the coordination of external
assistance as well as the development and subsequent implementation of
the reintegration programme aimed at all war-affected Liberians.

11.  On 27 October 1995, the Department of Humanitarian Affairs
convened a Conference on Assistance to Liberia in New York, under the
joint chairmanship of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the
Chairman of ECOWAS, and the Chairman of the Liberian Council of State. 
The aim of the Conference was to mobilize resources to support the
peace process and the humanitarian efforts.  The Conference was
attended by representatives of international and regional
organizations, donors and other institutions.

12.  After the unsuccessful demobilization exercise in 1994, a new
disarmament and demobilization plan was finalized by the United
Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) and presented to the
Council of State for endorsement in the autumn of 1995.  Furthermore,
a core group of the humanitarian assistance community, comprising the
European Union, the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID) and United Nations agencies, in collaboration with the
Government, drew up a non-targeted community-based reintegration
programme.  The strategy called for dividing the country into 13 Area
Reintegration and Development Units/Centres.  The Units/Centres were
to be managed by non-governmental organizations, working together with
local authorities under the overall authority of a national body. 
Funds to support this programme were to come from United Nations
funding agencies, USAID, the European Union and the Government of

13.  These positive developments were, however, taking place against a
backdrop of increasing political instability and insecurity.  The
failure of the warring factions to cease fire and disengage, coupled
with delays in the disarmament process and the poor dissemination of
information to the fighters, sustained a volatile environment for
humanitarian assistance.  On 11 October 1995, a Me'decins sans
frontie`res (France) (MSF(F)) vehicle was seized at Kakata and the
occupants harassed.  On 27 December, an entire Oxford Committee for
Famine Relief (OXFAM) convoy of six vehicles and cargo was seized at
Zorzor while en route to Voinjama, Lofa county.  The OXFAM staff were
released unharmed, and the vehicles were returned 10 days later, after
their contents had been looted.  This incident effectively stopped
further relief convoys to Lofa county.  On 10 February 1996, another
OXFAM/MSF(F) convoy, destined for Greenville, Sinoe county, was held
up by Liberian Peace Council (LPC) fighters at Zwedru.  The staff were
detained, the vehicle taken and the contents looted.  Through the
interventions of the Special Representative and the Humanitarian
Coordinator their release was secured.  On 19 and 21 February 1996,
World Vision International (WVI) convoys were held up at Blodialle,
Nimba county, by fighters of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia
(NPFL) and released after several hours.  These incidents frustrated
the continued delivery of humanitarian assistance to the newly
accessed areas of the north and south-east.

14.  In addition to the harassment of relief workers, persistent
ceasefire violations and the general deterioration of security
continued to cause civilian populations to shift, thereby compounding
the displaced persons' problem.  The fighting that broke out between
ECOMOG and elements of General Roosevelt Johnson's wing of the United
Liberation Movement of Liberia for Democracy (ULIMO-J) at Tubmanburg
on 28 December 1995 forced several civilians, including Sierra Leonean
refugees in the area, to flee towards Monrovia and to the Po River
area.  Furthermore, another skirmish between ECOMOG and ULIMO-J in the
Todee district in January, and the takeover of the towns of Todee,
Kakata and Bong Mines by NPFL from ULIMO-J in March, sent thousands of
civilians and displaced persons in those areas fleeing to Monrovia. 
In all cases, the humanitarian assistance community, together with the
government agency, the Liberian Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement
Commission, made arrangements to meet the needs of these newly
displaced persons.

15.  In Tubmanburg, continued instability and resumption of fighting in
March cut off more than 30,000 people from receiving relief aid.  The
last food convoy reached the city on 17 January 1996.  Since then, the
area has remained inaccessible.  Furthermore, the continued tensions
and fighting between the two wings of ULIMO in Grand Cape Mount county
have also cut off thousands of persons, including 35,000 Sierra
Leonean refugees, from relief assistance.  In March 1996, in response
to the sufferings of internally displaced persons and refugees, the
United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Office facilitated
an airlift of humanitarian assistance by, in particular, the World
Food Programme (WFP) and the Office of the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), using ECOMOG helicopters donated by
the United States of America.  With the subsequent withdrawal of
ECOMOG from the towns of Bo, Sinje and Tieni later in March, Grand
Cape Mount county once again became inaccessible to the humanitarian
assistance community.  Escapees from the area report serious
humanitarian problems.  Furthermore, the presence that the
humanitarian assistance community had established in Zwedru and
Greenville has all but been abandoned owing to continuing insecurity
in the area.  Only a token presence exists in Buchanan for the same

16.  The most serious threat to the peace process and humanitarian
operations in Liberia was the fighting that broke out in Monrovia on 6
April 1996, shattering the sanctity of the city as a safe haven. 
While the fighting was sparked off by the attempted arrest of General
Roosevelt Johnson, leader of ULIMO-J, by the Liberian National
Transitional Government, the underlying causes run much deeper. 
Fighters of NPFL and General Alhaji Kromah's wing of ULIMO (ULIMO-K) -
so-called "government forces" - and ULIMO-J and its allies, the Armed
Forces of Liberia (AFL), LPC and the Lofa Defence Force (LDF), moved
into the city and engaged in the widespread looting of private and
public property.  The city remained locked in a state of combat for
days.  Civilians were caught in the crossfire and many lost their
lives.  The Ministry of Health estimates that about 3,000 people might
have lost their lives in the fighting, and more than 50 per cent of
the town's nearly 800,000 people have become displaced.

17.  It can safely be stated that all humanitarian organizations,
United Nations agencies, non-governmental organizations, UNOMIL and
government offices, as well as shops and other commercial
establishments, were systematically looted by fighters of all
factions.  Although humanitarian personnel were not targeted, many
were harassed and had their personal belongings looted.  Almost all
expatriate staff of the United Nations and non-governmental
organizations were evacuated and many of their local staff fled to
other countries.  With their facilities and warehouses looted and most
of their staff gone, the humanitarian assistance community has been
seriously constrained in effectively carrying out relief work. 
Despite these constraints and the high security risk, United Nations
agencies and the United Nations Humanitarian Assistance Coordination
Office remained in Monrovia to monitor and coordinate the delivery of
much-needed relief assistance.  Food distribution commenced on 14

18.  Since the ceasefire brokered by ECOWAS and the United Nations on
31 May, expatriate staff of the major relief agencies are gradually
re-establishing their presence in Liberia.  Humanitarian activities
have, however, been minimal owing to a dire shortage of supplies and
apprehension about the consequences of possible renewed fighting. 
Despite these obvious limitations, relief supplies are reaching the
needy both inside and outside Monrovia.  On 18 May, an assessment
mission went to Ganta, Nimba county, followed by another assessment
mission that travelled to Voinjama, Lofa county, on 7 June.  Upon the
findings of the latter, a relief convoy of 19 trucks was dispatched to
the area by WFP on 13 June.  Cross-border operations from Co^te
d'Ivoire to Nimba and Bong counties have continued through which food,
seeds and other relief items were delivered.  Buchanan was kept
supplied with food and other items by WFP and Catholic Relief Services
(CRS) by sea.

19.  The fighting on 6 April has had a profound, detrimental impact on
the humanitarian assistance community and their operations in Liberia. 
Coming at a time when the humanitarian community was braced for a
massive operation in the hinterland, the incident compelled the
community to re-examine its involvement in the Liberian humanitarian
tragedy.  The persistent looting of the resources of the community
over the past six years has no doubt served to strengthen the warring
factions.  Consequently, all members of the international
non-governmental organization community in Liberia took a collective
stand to limit their activities to only life-saving activities until a
safe working environment was restored.  United Nations agencies also
agreed on a common position, involving only essential services.  It
was also agreed that future operations would be guided strictly by the
Principles and Protocols of Humanitarian Operations adopted by both
international non-governmental organizations and United Nations
agencies in the summer of 1995.  On 12 July 1996, the Inter-Agency
Standing Committee reaffirmed its support for these Principles and
Protocols.  A document on the mechanism for ensuring compliance with
the Principles and Protocols of Humanitarian Operations has been
prepared by all members of the international humanitarian community in
Liberia consequent to the crisis.  Since the crisis in April and May,
ECOWAS has convened high-level meetings to address the situation in

                      III.  SUPPORT FOR THE PEACE PROCESS

                      A.  Assistance for peace monitoring

20.  Since the appointment of a Special Representative of the
Secretary-General in October 1992 and the establishment of the United
Nations Observer Mission in Liberia in September 1993, the United
Nations has continued to undertake initiatives to promote the peace
process.  Following the signing of the Abuja Agreement on 19 August
1995, the Secretary-General dispatched a technical team to Liberia in
September 1995 to consult with the Liberian leaders, ECOWAS and other
interested parties, to review ways in which UNOMIL could assist the
implementation of the Agreement, including a revised concept of
operations for the Mission.  Based on the recommendations of the
Secretary-General in his report of 23 October 1995 (S/1995/881), the
Security Council, by its resolution 1020 (1995) of 10 November 1995,
adjusted the mandate of UNOMIL, entrusting the Mission with the
following tasks:  (a) to exercise its good offices to support the
efforts of ECOWAS and the Liberian National Transitional Government to
implement the peace process; (b) to investigate ceasefire violations;
(c) to monitor other military provisions of the peace agreements,
including disarmament and observance of the arms embargo; (d) to
assist, as appropriate, in the disarmament of combatants; (e) to
support humanitarian activities; (f) to investigate and report on
human rights violations; and (g) to observe and verify the election
process.  Most recently, the Security Council, in its resolution
1071 (1996), extended the mandate of UNOMIL to 30 November 1996.

21.  The effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of the
combatants remained a key element in the peace process.  The
Demobilization and Reintegration Unit of the United Nations
Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Office was charged with the
direct implementation of the programme.  A budget of US$ 8 million was
approved for the demobilization programme.  To fulfil its peacekeeping
role (including disarmament), ECOMOG had estimated a troop requirement
of 12,000 soldiers.  As of July 1996, ECOMOG's troop strength was only
7,269.  With the assistance of UNOMIL, a budget of US$ 93 million was
prepared for ECOMOG to carry out the operation.

22.  The Conference on Assistance to Liberia, held in New York on
27 October 1995 (para. 11 above) focused on the support required for
the implementation of the Abuja Agreement, including humanitarian
assistance, disarmament and demobilization processes, rehabilitation
and recovery, as well as support for ECOMOG.  More than 100
participants, including representatives of Member States, the European
Union, the Organization of African Unity, United Nations agencies and
the Bretton Woods institutions attended the Conference.  A total of
US$ 145.7 million was pledged for humanitarian assistance,
demobilization and reintegration.  The United States of America, among
others, pledged $10 million for logistical support to ECOMOG.  The
relatively low contribution to ECOMOG and the consequent lack of
resources has had a significant impact on its deployment in the
hinterland and may have contributed to the delay in the implementation
of the peace process.  The leadership of ECOWAS expressed its
disappointment at the meagre resources allocated for the assistance of

23.  By mid-October 1995, a Demobilization and Reintegration Task Force
instituted by the Special Representative in February 1995, with the
participation of ECOMOG, the Liberian National Transitional
Government, United Nations agencies, donors and non-governmental
organizations, had completed a draft demobilization plan.  On the
basis of consultations, a list of proposed assembly (disarmament)
sites and the number of combatants belonging to each faction was
compiled.  In this regard, some 60,000 combatants were expected to be
disarmed and demobilized, comprising 25,000 NPFL; 12,460 ULIMO-K;
8,734 AFL; 7,776 ULIMO-J; 4,650 LPC and 750 LDF combatants.  In
November, UNOMIL and ECOMOG began undertaking joint reconnaissance
missions to the proposed disarmament centres.  In the same month, the
disarmament and demobilization plan, jointly approved by UNOMIL and
ECOMOG, was forwarded to the Council of State for consideration and
endorsement.  In the light of substantial changes proposed by the
Liberian National Transitional Government, a revised plan was
finalized by March 1996 following extensive consultation among the
major partners in the peace process.

24.  Throughout this period, the United Nations exerted efforts to keep
the peace process on track.  The Special Representative of the
Secretary-General seized every opportunity to encourage the warring
faction leaders to keep their commitment to the peace process.  During
his visit to Liberia, on 29 November 1995, the Secretary-General re-
emphasized the need to adhere to the Abuja Agreement and underscored
the responsibility of the Liberian leaders to bring about an end to
the conflict.

25.  The failure of the warring factions to disengage as required by
the Agreement, the continued ceasefire violations by all factions, the
lack of ECOMOG resources for timely deployment, the discord among the
factional leaders and the break-up of ULIMO-J, culminated in the
eruption of fighting in Monrovia on 6 April 1996.  The fighting in
Monrovia, sparked by the stand-off between ULIMO-J leader Roosevelt
Johnson and the Council of State, led to massive destruction of
central Monrovia and the serious derailment of the Abuja Agreement.

26.  Despite this serious setback, efforts to sustain the peace process
in Liberia continued.  Even as fighting raged in Monrovia, efforts
were exerted by UNOMIL, ECOWAS and resident ambassadors to achieve a
cessation of hostilities in the city.  Meanwhile, on 18 April, the
Secretary-General dispatched a Special Envoy, Mr. James O. C. Jonah,
to Monrovia to assess the situation and consult with the leadership of
ECOWAS regarding the implementation of the Abuja Agreement.  On 7 May,
the ECOWAS Committee of Nine met at Accra and adopted a Mechanism for
Returning Liberia to the Abuja Agreement.  Under this Mechanism,
ECOWAS called on the parties to adhere to the Abuja Agreement, restore
the ceasefire, withdraw fighters from Monrovia, guarantee free
movement for civilians, and return ECOMOG weapons and vehicles and
other equipment looted from UNOMIL, United Nations agencies and non-
governmental organizations.  At the ECOWAS summit, on 26 and 27 July
1996, the west African States noted that the Accra Mechanism had only
been partially implemented.  Further and more detailed discussion of
Liberia was deferred to a special session of the ECOWAS Committee of
Nine, to be held at Abuja before 18 August.  However, subsequent to
the summit at Abuja, all faction leaders on the Council of State
announced their commitment to cease hostilities and commence
disarmament immediately, completing the exercise by 30 September 1996. 
The outcome of these commitments and their consequences for the
international community's involvement in Liberia are not yet clear.

              B.  Initiatives for rehabilitation, reconstruction and
                  national reconciliation

27.  Rehabilitation efforts in Liberia have to be undertaken against a
backdrop of a totally devastated economic sector and a population of
which more than 60 per cent have been displaced, as well as a serious
breakdown of community structures and deteriorating community
cohesion.  Traditional family and community support systems have been
seriously disrupted leading to a major shift in priorities from
development to survival.  Therefore, it is important to devise a
system that would increase cohesion, security and self-reliance.

28.  In anticipation of the implementation of the peace agreements, the
humanitarian assistance community had undertaken cautious initiatives
towards rehabilitation, reconstruction and reconciliation.  Relief
programmes were being reprogrammed to suit rehabilitation needs in the
safe havens.  One example was a programme set up jointly by WFP, the
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the
European Union to establish small agricultural projects in the
vicinity of Monrovia and at other major displaced persons' camps as a
way of attracting the population away from those crowded centres,
enabling them to produce part of their food and hence reduce reliance
on relief handouts.  An integral and significant part of this plan was
the policy to phase out general food distribution in Monrovia and
elsewhere in Liberia and the substitution of rice with bulgar wheat so
as not to compete with locally produced rice.

29.  After the Abuja Agreement, the emphasis shifted to developing a
comprehensive strategy for the integration of the war-affected
population.  To this end, a non-targeted resettlement/reintegration
plan was drawn up wherein the food-for-work micro-project methodology
would be used to respond to the needs of community initiatives.  The
plan called for food-for-work micro-projects in agricultural
production and school and vulnerable group feeding, to be directed
towards resettlement areas to stimulate and support spontaneous and
rapid resettlement in addition to other needed non-food assistance.

30.  In the meantime, other concrete steps were being taken for the
general economic recovery of Liberia.  Pursuant to the recommendation
of the Conference on Assistance to Liberia, held in New York on 27
October 1995, a special consultative meeting was to be held on Liberia
with the objective of harmonizing planning, programming and financing
for recovery interventions.  For this purpose, a United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP)/World Bank mission visited the country in
March and established core teams of national consultants to undertake
rapid technical assessments in all critical development sectors.  The
International Monetary Fund (IMF) also sent two missions to Liberia to
review the tax system and expenditure management procedure.  The
missions recommended a technical assistance programme to improve
Liberia's fiscal performance.  Furthermore, the African Development
Bank indicated its interest in assisting Liberia in debt management. 
These efforts were suspended and the special consultative meeting was
not held owing to the outbreak of fighting in April.

31.  At the microeconomic level, WFP continued its
institution-strengthening programme through food-for-work schemes.  A
substantial amount of the food-for-work schemes was used for reopening
roads and for constructing bridges to newly accessed areas. 
Incentives in the form of food for work were also made available to
educational and medical staff.  A total of 82 micro-projects, ranging
from small loans to women to reconstruction of schools, clinics,
bridges, wells, shelters, logistics and latrines, had been completed
or were under implementation by the United Nations Office for Project
Services, funded by UNDP and other donors.  These projects were
expected to serve as the building blocks for the overall recovery of
the Liberian economy.  The UNHCR strategy was directed towards small-
scale income-generating activities and infrastructure rehabilitation
around refugee settlements with a view to making them self-reliant. 
FAO continued to identify and formulate projects aimed at the
rehabilitation and revitalization of the agricultural sector, with the
ultimate goal of achieving food security.  The United Nations
Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
continued their efforts in the rehabilitation of education and health
infrastructures, while UNDP, together with the Liberian National
Transitional Government and the International Labour Organization
(ILO), agreed to implement a US$ 1 million project to train
ex-combatants.  Unfortunately, many of these initiatives have been
derailed, some irreparably, by the recent fighting in Monrovia.


                            A.  Food and nutrition

32.  During the course of 1995, about 63,000 metric tons of assorted
food commodities were distributed to 1.5 million beneficiaries,
including 890,000 residing in displaced persons' and refugee shelters. 
However, towards the end of 1995 and the beginning of 1996, when peace
seemed to be within reach, WFP, in consultation with relevant
partners, sought to reduce the level of dependence on relief food and
to promote self-reliance through the resettlement of internally and
externally displaced persons into rural areas where they could engage
in production activities and the promotion of smallholder food
security.  In this context, the following measures were initiated to
stimulate self-reliance along a sustained growth path during the first
quarter of 1996:  (a) phasing out the general distribution of food in
Monrovia and its environs and targeting vulnerable people through
institutions (hospitals, churches, disabled houses etc.); (b)
facilitating the resettlement of ex-combatants, returnees and
displaced persons in relatively secure areas by extending emergency
food assistance along with the provision of seeds and tools; this was
to be followed by the development of resettlement micro-projects and
the rehabilitation of social and agricultural infrastructure through
food-for-work activities; (c) expanding school and vulnerable group
feeding programmes in resettlement areas; and (d) providing a safety
net for the poor through community-based activities and continuing
targeted feeding programmes.

33.  Food distribution continues to be made through WFP and its
implementing non-governmental organization partners.  WFP and Catholic
Relief Services signed a memorandum of understanding, in which
geographical areas were identified for each agency to implement and
monitor food aid activities.  The understanding ensures the efficient
utilization of resources and enhances accountability to donors and
beneficiaries.  In order to increase the efficiency of delivery in the
shelters, an updating of beneficiaries was conducted in different
shelters in the second half of January 1996.  This exercise was also
carried out to reflect the inward and outward movement of the
population from these shelters.

34.  An emergency school feeding programme was also under
implementation and had been expanded to Grand Gedeh, Upper Lofa and
other accessible counties.  The objective was to enhance the
nutritional status of school-age children, increase enrolment rates
and improve attendance.  Until recently, 235,000 students in schools
located in Monrovia, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Cape Mount, Nimba and
Bong counties were provided with meals on each schoolday.  At the same
time, 19,000 teachers and school workers were included in food-for-
work activities.  This programme contributed to the normalization of
life, especially in Monrovia.  The target for 1996 was to expand food
assistance to 300,000 pupils as well as to 24,000 teachers and support

35.  WFP participated in drawing up a framework for the reintegration
of combatants by the humanitarian assistance community.  In the
framework, food for work was to continue for at least two years in the
resettlement phase.  Food assistance was to be provided for returning
refugees or displaced persons as had been done with those who recently
returned to Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties.  Reconstruction and
rehabilitation of public infrastructures, including schools, health
posts and roads, were to be undertaken through food-for-work

36.  However, most of these activities and plans have been aborted
owing to the recent fighting that broke out in Monrovia on 6 April. 
As a result, WFP, in collaboration with six implementing partners,
switched back to relief activities and conducted a needs-assessment
survey in the accessible parts of Monrovia.  Based on the immediate
needs identified, five feeding categories were immediately defined and
programmes put into effect:  (a) vulnerable group feeding programmes,
under which 125 metric tons of assorted food commodities were provided
for hospital in-patients, orphanages, the elderly, unaccompanied
children and the handicapped; (b) expanded targeted feeding
programmes, under which 3,400 metric tons of assorted foods were
distributed to 640,000 beneficiaries as a life-saving measure for
populations trapped on Bushrod Island, Upper Caldwell and New Kru
Town; (c) programmes for refugees and the newly displaced, under which
4,253 metric tons were distributed to 212,798 beneficiaries; (d)
programmes of food for work for the removal of corpses from streets,
general sanitation, hospital workers, telecommunications workers,
airport clean-up crews and security guards at the port; (e) up-country
deliveries to places such as Buchanan, Kakata, Suehn, Gbarnga and

37.  Food aid is certainly not a panacea and cannot overcome all the
problems of war-affected persons.  In this respect, WFP participated
actively in inter-agency assessment missions with other United Nations
agencies, non-governmental organizations and relevant government
agencies to minimize this means as a solution.  Additionally, as part
of its duties to its partners, WFP chartered two ocean-going vessels
that shuttle between Freetown and Monrovia transporting fuel, food,
medicine and other facilities required by the humanitarian assistance
community.  One of the boats is always anchored in Monrovia to
facilitate the emergency evacuation of international United Nations
staff should that be necessary.

                                B.  Agriculture

38.  In the past year, FAO continued its efforts in collaboration with
the Ministry of Agriculture, non-governmental organizations and donor
organizations in the identification and formulation of projects aimed
at the rehabilitation and revitalization of the agricultural sector. 
In this regard, FAO, assisted by UNDP, fielded a team of national
consultants to prepare a national food security strategy.  A national
workshop on this strategy was organized in collaboration with UNDP and
the Ministry of Agriculture.

39.  FAO continued to provide technical assistance by offering training
to non-governmental organizations, farmers and the staff of the
Ministry of Agriculture in several areas, including crop husbandry,
fertilization and the production and processing of cassava tubers. 
Through its non-governmental organization implementing partners -
Africare, CRS and the Lutheran World Service (LWS) - FAO continued to
provide agricultural inputs such as seeds, tools, fertilizers, and
pesticides and advice to farmers, particularly in newly accessible
areas.  Owing to these efforts, there has been a perceptible growth in
the production of vegetables and rice around Monrovia.  FAO has also
provided fishing gear to fishermen and has assisted those who had
started livestock industries.  Most of the above activities were
suspended because of the outbreak of fighting on 6 April.

                          C.  Health and medical care

40.  WHO, UNICEF, the Ministry of Health and national and international
non-governmental organizations have continued their efforts to provide
curative and preventive health care to accessible parts of the
country.  They have also endeavoured to rehabilitate the entire health
sector.  These efforts, however, have repeatedly been interrupted by
emergencies such as the outbreak of epidemics or continued fighting
among the factions.  For example, when fighting broke out in
Tubmanburg, Bomi county, in December 1995, WHO dispatched two health
teams to attend to the needs of the escapees from the area.  Likewise,
when fighting broke out in Monrovia, WHO and its implementing partners
succeeded in keeping the five referral hospitals open, with supplies,
throughout the fighting.  These interruptions, while successfully
dealt with, hampered the overall health sector efforts.

41.  The renewed factional fighting in the hinterland and in Monrovia
has worsened the problem of displacement and led to a deterioration in
the already saturated population situation.  Along with poor sanitary
conditions in the displaced centres, there is an increase in the
vulnerability of the population to epidemic diseases.  Among them are
malaria, cholera and measles, identified as the leading causes of
morbidity and mortality among all ages, and especially in children.  A
number of community-based health interventions are being supported by
WHO and other organizations to combat this situation.

42.  The re-emergence of yellow fever in Liberia in November 1995
resulted in a collaborative undertaking by WHO, UNICEF, the Ministry
of Health and some of the international and national non-governmental
organizations working in Liberia.  A vaccination campaign in Buchanan,
where the epidemic was first reported, and other potentially high-risk
localities was launched.  A total of 1,129,277 persons, or 73.8
per cent of the population, have been immunized.  The turnout was high
because of the massive public awareness campaigns that had earlier
been put into place.

43.  The appearance of the Ebola virus on the Liberia-Co^te d'Ivoire
border in December 1995 became a major concern of the Governments of
these two countries.  For health surveillance purposes, a joint
communique' was signed by the Ministers of Health of both countries to
cooperate in solving this and other health problems along their common
borders.  Implementation of this agreement by Liberia has, however,
been delayed by insecurity and attendant inaccessibility.

44.  In the light of increasing incidents of malaria, acute respiratory
infections and diarrhoea, which in some cases reach as high as
60 per cent morbidity in the outpatient departments, WHO has
endeavoured to maintain a regular supply of essential drugs to all
health centres.  In addition, it undertook vector control measures in
several accessible parts of the country as a way of minimizing the
number of incidents of these diseases.

45.  Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) control activities have
continued, with the support of WHO to the National AIDS Control
Programme of Liberia (NACP).  During the reporting period, NACP was
involved in public awareness campaigns, education and condom
distribution.  NACP has, however, been forced to close down as a
result of the recent fighting in Monrovia, compelling WHO to take up
the direct responsibility of supplying blood safety testing kits to
the health facilities.

46.  The National Drug Service (NDS), the body that distributed drugs
to health facilities, was partially looted during the recent April
fighting.  WHO and other members of the international community have
responded promptly to restore the service of this vital facility
through providing fuel and a vehicle for NDS transportation needs.

                           D.  Water and sanitation

47.  UNICEF has continued to provide safe drinking water and improve
general sanitation.  These activities are carried out in collaboration
with international and local intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations, principally, MSF, Action contre la faim (ACF), the Save
the Children Fund (SCF)-United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern
Ireland, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the
African Muslim Agency (AMA), the Liberia Water and Sewer Corporation
and the Monrovia City Council.  Support to the water sector has
continued with rehabilitation, chlorination and digging of wells;
installation and repair of hand pumps and, occasionally, trucking
water to emergency sites.  In addition, UNICEF supports sanitation
improvement through health education, animation and provision of
tools.  In the rural areas, UNICEF is involved in the installation and
maintenance of hand pumps and the introduction of improved latrines. 
In displaced persons' camps, UNICEF supports the provision of safe
drinking water and promotes effective and sanitary methods of human
waste and garbage disposal.

48.  With the opening of the formerly inaccessible areas of Lofa, Grand
Gedeh and Sinoe counties towards the end of 1995, UNICEF and its
collaborators had extended water and sanitation programmes to those
areas.  However, these programmes were brought to a halt as a result
of mounting insecurity.  In Monrovia, water and sanitation programmes
were seriously disrupted by the 6 April fighting.  In addition to the
loss of staff and essential equipment, the desludging trucks were
looted.  Moreover, overcrowding in the new displaced persons' camps in
the safer parts of the town has worsened the situation.  When the 31
May ceasefire took effect, UNICEF and its collaborators began the
arduous project of removing garbage and debris from the city centre,
as well as beginning massive chlorination of wells.  This effort was
assisted by food-for-work programmes supported by WFP.  The immediate
UNICEF objective in this sector now encompasses the following: 
support and expansion of well chlorination activities; re-
establishment and support for health and hygiene education activities
in the shelters; repair of hand pumps; resumption of latrine
desludging; and continued support for the construction of wells and
latrines at the shelters.

                          E.  Education and training

49.  Before the April crisis, most of the 1,200 registered schools in
Monrovia and its environs were open and many schools in the counties
had resumed functioning.  However, after the 6 April fighting, all
schools in Monrovia have been closed.  Schools in the hinterland
regions not affected by the fighting continue to function under
tenuous circumstances.  During the fighting, educational supplies,
equipment and materials were looted and educational buildings
vandalized.  But the greatest blow to education in the city has been
the decision of the Catholic Church to close all of its schools until
an elected government is in place.

50.  In collaboration with LWS and selected local non-governmental
organizations, UNICEF supports the free distribution of educational
materials.  These activities have been designed to encourage
schoolchildren and teachers to return to school and to remain there. 
UNICEF has also continued to support the local non-governmental
organization, the Christian Related Education Development Organization
(CREDO), to implement a revolving fund project for school supplies and
equipment in areas where people could afford to pay fees.  About 500
schools in Monrovia and 150 schools in the rest of the country, with a
total of 162,500 pupils, were benefiting from the fund.

51.  UNICEF has also continued to fund teacher-training workshops,
targeting 1,000 primary schoolteachers in areas such as curriculum
development and improvement, war trauma counselling, educational
psychology, production of educational materials, lesson planning and
coping with stress.

52.  The curriculum materials centre in Buchanan has continued to
receive UNICEF support in providing educational supplies.  The centre
now caters to 64 schools, with an enrolment of 22,000 pupils and 550
teachers in the city.  The local non-governmental organization CREDO,
with UNICEF assistance, has established bookstores through
parent-teacher's associations to improve access to educational

                          F.  Specific target groups

                          1.  Refugees and returnees

53.  At the end of 1995, UNHCR was providing protection and assistance
to 739,500 Liberian refugees in neighbouring west African countries. 
In Liberia itself, the Office also continued to provide assistance to
refugees from Sierra Leone as well as to Liberian returnees and some
100,000 internally displaced persons.  The deteriorating security
situation in Liberia has severely limited the assistance provided to
refugees and returnees to only those areas controlled by ECOMOG.

54.  While no large-scale organized repatriation of Liberian refugees
took place during the reporting period, spontaneous repatriation
continued despite the volatile political situation.  In 1995, UNHCR
assisted 9,900 spontaneous returnees.  The dramatic increase in
spontaneous repatriations from Sierra Leone in 1995 (2,707) over those
of 1994 (376) was a direct consequence of the worsening security
situation that prevailed in that country during most of 1995.  Between
January and March 1996, UNHCR in Monrovia had received some
5,555 returnees from various countries of asylum in the region, with
the majority being from Guinea.  However, the outbreak of renewed
fighting, in April and May 1996, especially in Monrovia, has triggered
a fresh exodus of refugees from Liberia and has halted further
repatriation of Liberians from neighbouring countries.

55.  On 7 December 1995, UNHCR held a regional repatriation meeting in
order to formulate the strategies for repatriation and reintegration
of the Liberian returnees.  On 4 January 1996, UNHCR and the Liberian
National Transitional Government concluded an agreement establishing
the framework for repatriation and reintegration of refugees from
neighbouring countries.  In addition, the Liberian National
Transitional Government signed a declaration on the rights of all
Liberians to return to their places of origin or residence in safety
and dignity.  For this purpose, UNHCR launched an international appeal
for US$ 60 million for the repatriation and reintegration of the
739,500 Liberian refugees.

56.  The recent round of fighting in Monrovia has, however, blocked the
implementation of plans for reintegration and rehabilitation
activities and severely curtailed other humanitarian interventions on
behalf of refugees and returnees.  It is hoped that with the extended
deployment of ECOMOG along major roads, such as those leading to
Tubmanburg, Bong Mines and Kakata, UNHCR will be in a position to
initiate some quick impact projects in returnee areas.  This issue
also encourages participation in community rehabilitation projects
with other relief agencies.  Such projects will benefit refugees,
returnees and internally displaced persons.  A planning figure of
623,000 refugees has been established for the UNHCR repatriation
programme and related reintegration activities.  This will be reviewed
on a regular basis to take account of the evolution of the political

57.  UNHCR currently assists whenever the security situation permits. 
It estimates that there are some 120,000 refugees from Sierra Leone
residing in Liberia.  The most recent missions to refugee hosting
counties, including Lofa, which has not been accessible since December
1993 owing to security problems, were undertaken between February and
March 1996.  These missions reported widespread malnutrition and a
deteriorating health situation.  The missions further noted that
agricultural activities in many counties had been curtailed, owing to
the lack of access to necessary inputs and the fact that most social
services were lacking and most administrative infrastructure
destroyed.  Despite these security-related problems, the missions
noted the presence of small numbers of spontaneous returnees in each
county visited.

                       2.  Internally displaced persons

58.  The situation regarding internally displaced persons remains
precarious.  Although there was initial optimism that many of the
internally displaced would be able to return to their homes in early
1996, the deteriorating security situation in several areas has made
that impossible.  Consequently, approximately 800,000 Liberians remain
internally displaced.  In April and May, an undetermined number were
displaced by the fighting in Monrovia, relocating to other areas of
the city or to neighbouring countries.  Additionally, in June, renewed
fighting and harassment in western Liberia contributed to a new influx
into the Po River area outside Monrovia.

59.  The internally displaced receive food aid from WFP and CRS and
benefit from the multisectoral programmes of a number of United
Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations.  Although some
have been absorbed into local communities, approximately 700,000
occupy temporary or permanent camps, some of which are now in areas no
longer secure or accessible.  Where possible, assistance is provided
according to an agreed division of labour among United Nations
agencies, non-governmental organizations and local officials.  The
United Nations Office for Project Services, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, CRS,
SCF-UK, ACF and MSF-International continue to support displaced
persons' shelters in their respective areas of speciality.

60.  Following the April/May crisis in Monrovia, coordination
committees have been re-established to address the needs of the
displaced.  As previously mentioned, these committees will attempt to
ensure an appropriate division of labour in order to provide a rapid
and effective response to the needs of the internally displaced.

                    3.  Children in difficult circumstances

61.  UNICEF, in collaboration with key ministries such as Planning and
Economic Affairs, Health and Social Welfare, Education and Rural
Development, as well as a network of local and international non-
governmental organizations, continues to provide basic services to
children on a national scale.  Technical, material and financial
support is being provided to develop capacity and meet the needs of
children across Liberia.  The programme for children in especially
difficult circumstances offers social counselling services as well as
material assistance to orphanages and institutions caring for
abandoned, displaced and refugee children.  Tracing families of
unaccompanied children and reuniting them are top priorities for
UNICEF.  This exercise is carried out through the Board of
Accreditation of Welfare Institutes.  Resettlement packages, including
food and non-food items, are given to children who have been reunited
with their families.

62.  UNICEF also provides support to more than 4,000 orphaned and
abandoned children in orphanages in Monrovia.  The number of children
hosted by orphanages increased as a result of the April crisis, though
many of the additional children are known to be mainly separated from
their families rather than orphans.  Efforts are being made to reunite
them with their families.  It is also known that hundreds of children
in difficult circumstances are trapped behind battle lines.  However,
these remain inaccessible to UNICEF.

63.  For war trauma counselling, UNICEF has continued its programme
with the African Methodist Episcopalian Zion Community College in
Monrovia to train counsellors.  By the end of 1995, the project had
trained over 200 counsellors, reaching more than 10,000 children and
women.  A further 50 are currently in training.  The counsellors come
from a cross-section of professions:  teachers, nurses, doctors, and
community workers and leaders, as well as other caregivers.  In
addition, plans had been completed for a war-affected youth support
(WAYS) project, which aimed at providing literacy, vocational and
technical skills to war-affected youths.  These projects were to be
located at crossroads where youths tend to congregate.  Elsewhere,
some 1,500 youths in 22 communities have received training in income
generation, coupled with literacy programmes and food assistance.

64.  UNICEF has also assisted in the training of 20 physiotherapists
and orthopaedic assistants, benefiting more than 500 disabled
children.  Most of these children are between the ages of 7 and 19 and
are affected by polio or were disabled in the fighting.  UNICEF
continues to support the Benedict Menni Rehabilitation Centre for
Children, which is a referral centre for the physically handicapped
and the disabled in rural areas.  However, the work of the orthopaedic
workshop of the Centre has been interrupted by the fighting in April.

65.  Finally, UNICEF continues to take the lead in highlighting the
plight of children and promoting their rights.  Workshops on the
Convention on the Rights of the Child have been held to sensitize
decision makers and members of the Transitional Legislative Assembly. 
Additionally, UNICEF was in the process of formulating programmes for
the expected 10,000 child soldiers during demobilization when fighting
broke out in April.

                                4.  The elderly

66.  The war has also disrupted structures of society that catered to
the needs of the elderly.  Hence, elderly people, estimated to be more
than 50,000 in population, have been abandoned as a result of the
flight of their children or the death of family members.  According to
assessments conducted in Bong, Nimba, Margibi, Grand Bassa and
Montserrado counties, 50 per cent of these abandoned elderly are
homeless, while the remaining 50 per cent require special attention
and care.  There are two local non-governmental organizations, Special
Emergency Relief for the Elderly (SERE) and Help Our People Exist
(HOPE), catering to the needs of these destitute members of society,
with support from United Nations agencies and other international
organizations.  The services being rendered to these elderly persons
have, however, been seriously disrupted by the recent fighting in
Monrovia on 6 April.

                          5.  Abused women and girls

67.  Women in Liberia continue to bear a disproportionate effect of the
war.  The loss of their husbands brought with it the additional burden
of single parenthood.  Many have been tortured, raped and often
compelled to witness the killing of an immediate family member. 
Although the reluctance of such victims to come forward makes it
difficult to establish the extent of abuse of women, it is clear that
women have borne the main brunt of the war.  UNICEF, in collaboration
with the National Women's Council of Liberia, has established centres
in Monrovia and Buchanan for abused women and girls.  The work of
these centres, referred to as "My Sister's Place", has ceased as a
result of the April fighting.


68.  It is important to emphasize that the achievements described above
have been possible in large part because of the efforts of the
non-governmental organizations operating in the country.  Prior to the
6 April fighting, there were some 13 international and more than 100
national non-governmental organizations serving as invaluable partners
to the United Nations agencies.  Notwithstanding a lack of resources
and limited capacity, a coordination system led by the United Nations
Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Office was put in place that
organized the complex relationship between the non-governmental
organizations and United Nations agencies, resulting in rapport,
cooperation and the maximum use of available resources.  The
non-governmental organizations have been pioneers in establishing
footholds in newly accessed counties and, in the process, have
suffered serious losses of their property.  All of them have done
commendable work.

69.  While all international non-governmental organizations were forced
to evacuate from Liberia during the fighting in April, they started
returning within weeks.  All major international non-governmental
organizations have now returned.  Crucial life-saving work has been
carried out by these international non-governmental organizations in
the aftermath of the crisis in April and May.  In response to
continued insecurity, and to avoid a recurrence of the reprehensible
looting and disrespect for humanitarian organizations and their
mandates, the international non-governmental organizations took the
difficult decision of suspending all programmes except life-saving
operations, until a more satisfactory working environment has been


70.  Humanitarian assistance in Liberia is dependent on contributions
from the international community.  The United Nations consolidated
inter-agency appeal, issued on 4 October 1995 and covering the period
from September 1995 to August 1996, sought US$ 110,257,853.  As at 21
June 1996, contributions amounting to $63,475,430 have been made to
the appeal.  The response to food sector requirements has been
excellent, while support for non-food activities has been weak.

71.  During the Conference on Assistance to Liberia, held in New York
on 27 October 1995, additional contributions were made supporting the
implementation of the Abuja Agreement.  A total of $145.7 million was
pledged:  this figure includes contributions made for the United
Nations consolidated inter-agency appeal for Liberia.  Additional
support was provided to ECOMOG.  Among others, the United States of
America pledged $10 million for logistical support.

72.  On 30 May 1996, the Secretary-General invited Member States and
other donors to provide information on assistance extended to Liberia
within the framework of General Assembly resolution 50/58 A.  Replies
were received from the following States.


73.  The Government of Australia contributed 1 million Australian
dollars to the WFP appeal for food assistance to assist 464,000
internally displaced persons and Liberian refugees in Sierra Leone.


74.  The Government of Denmark contributed 7.3 million Danish kroner in
humanitarian assistance to Liberia through UNICEF, UNHCR and WHO in
1995.  It contributed DKr 15,295,450 to Liberia through UNHCR, WFP and
WHO in 1996, as at 24 July.  In addition, DKr 1.2 million was
channelled through the Adventist Development Relief Agency in 1996.


75.  In 1995, the Government of Finland contributed 1 million markkaa
to UNICEF for humanitarian assistance in Liberia.  In 1996, Finland
has contributed a total of Fmk 1.5 million through WFP, UNICEF and the
Finnish Red Cross/ International Federation of Red Cross and Red
Crescent Societies (IFRC) as at 30 June 1996.


76.  In 1995, the German Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry for
Economic Cooperation and Development disbursed a total of 3,030,000
deutsche mark through various United Nations agencies and non-
governmental organizations.  In 1996, the German Federal Foreign
Office contributed DM 1,548,000 to various United Nations agencies and
non-governmental organizations for humanitarian assistance in Liberia
and for assistance to Liberian refugees in neighbouring countries.


77.  The Government of Italy contributed to humanitarian assistance in
Liberia by:  (a) humanitarian flights from the Department of
Humanitarian Affairs depot in Pisa to Liberian refugees in Sierra
Leone, transporting a supply of high-protein biscuits; the
Government's financial contribution for transportation from Pisa to
Freetown amounted to US$ 75,000; (b) a contribution of $400,000 to
UNHCR for emergency operations in favour of Liberian refugees in Co^te


78.  From 1 April 1995 to 31 March 1996, the Government of Japan
provided US$ 6 million in humanitarian assistance to Liberia through
UNHCR, UNICEF, ICRC and the International Organization for Migration. 
In addition, $10,870,000 was provided for emergency food aid for the
refugees and internally displaced persons in Liberia and Sierra Leone
through WFP.


79.  The Government of Liechtenstein responded to the United Nations
consolidated inter-agency appeal by making a financial contribution of
10,000 Swiss francs in February 1996 in order to facilitate the
restoration of peace and normalcy in Liberia.


80.  During 1996, the Government of Norway disbursed 12,673,798
Norwegian kroner in assistance to Liberia, as at 11 July.  Assistance
was channelled through WFP, Caritas Norway, MSF-Oslo, Norwegian Church
Aid and the Norwegian Red Cross.


81.  The Government of Switzerland contributed SwF 2,265,000 for
humanitarian assistance to Liberia through UNHCR, WFP and

United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

82.  In 1996, the United Kingdom provided nearly 3 million pounds
sterling in emergency disaster relief to Liberia, largely to United
Nations agencies, IFRC and non-governmental organizations.

                               VII.  CONCLUSIONS

83.  The humanitarian situation in Liberia has not changed
significantly since the previous report (A/50/522).  More than 1.5
million of Liberia's people remain dependent on relief aid as
refugees, displaced persons and those affected by various aspects of
the war.  Under the present circumstances of continuing uncertainty
and volatility, requisite humanitarian assistance cannot be delivered
according to the pre-established plan of moving from relief to
sustainable development.  Nevertheless, the humanitarian assistance
community has endeavoured to undertake a number of assessments and
matched those assessed needs to available resources.  The thrust of
the activities of the humanitarian community remains the collective
endeavour to access all people and consequently avert any large-scale
humanitarian disaster.  This has been achieved so far with a great
deal of success despite continuing conflict and the attendant

84.  Mainly owing to the persistent efforts of the humanitarian
community, there has been no large-scale starvation in the country. 
The high rate of malnutrition in Bong county and elsewhere was swiftly
brought down through a concerted food aid programme.  Contagious
epidemics of cholera, yellow fever and Ebola virus were effectively
controlled.  Clean drinking water and medical supplies were available
in most accessible areas.  Shelter has also been made available to
more than 400,000 people, while numerous camps and feeding centres
were established in many parts of the country to cater to the
vulnerable.  Additionally, an increasing number of internally
displaced persons were engaged in income-generating activities.

85.  The ceasefire proffered by the Abuja Agreement in August 1995 and
the attendant relative tranquillity at the time greatly enhanced the
ability of the humanitarian assistance community to operate in
hitherto inaccessible parts of the country.  Landmark achievements
were registered:  for example, for the first time in more than a year,
relief convoys reached Zwedru and Voinjama respectively, between 14
November and 6 December 1995.  After subsisting on wild fruits and
herbal medicine for a long period of time, the food and medical
situation for these communities was significantly improved by the
arrival of relief supplies with the humanitarian convoy.  Members of
the humanitarian assistance community simultaneously moved in and
established footholds in Zwedru (WVI), Greenville (MSF/F, OXFAM)
Voinjama (OXFAM, MSF-Belgium) and Rivercess (Calvary Chapel). 
Concurrently, a framework for the resettlement and reintegration of
refugees, displaced persons and ex-combatants was formulated in
consultation with the relevant government agencies and submitted to
the Liberian National Transitional Government for approval.

86.  These positive developments were undertaken despite a volatile
security and political situation that persisted in the hinterland and
in Monrovia.  The fighting in Monrovia in April and May further
revealed the blatant disrespect of the factions for the humanitarian
assistance community.  The wholesale looting and destruction of
property, estimated to be in the tens of million of dollars, has
crippled and decimated the activities of the humanitarian community to
the extent that any serious attempt aimed at bringing programmes to
the pre-April 1996 level would have to entail massive reinvestment in
all areas of humanitarian endeavours.  In view of these
transgressions, the humanitarian assistance community, and
particularly the non-governmental organizations, have taken the stand
of limiting their operations to life-saving activities, using existing
resources only.

87.  Humanitarian assistance in Liberia is now at the crossroads. 
Short-term concerns are likely to continue to overwhelm humanitarian
programmes.  It must also be noted that resource mobilization has
become more problematic.  While the present deployment of humanitarian
organizations can address immediate and small-scale emergencies, it is
inadequately equipped and staffed to respond effectively to any major
emergencies, epidemics or disasters.  In spite of these difficulties,
the humanitarian assistance community has not entertained the idea of
a complete withdrawal.  The humanitarian community has seized every
opportunity to emphasize its commitment to continuing relief
assistance within the Principles and Protocols of Humanitarian
Operations.  It is now hoped that the ongoing political efforts of the
international community and, in particular, ECOWAS will be successful,
and that faction leaders will fulfil their commitment, announced in
August 1996, to the complete cessation of hostilities and the
disarmament of their forces.


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Date last posted: 28 December 1999 17:35:10
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