Monrovia — The Director General of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation and Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) Festus Logan, has disclosed that the LRRRC along with the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency has Pre-registered a total of 29,125 newly arrived Ivorian Refugees in Liberia.
Although initial records of the LRRRC showed that the entity earlier registered a total of 12,000 Ivorian refugees, the latest surge in the number according to Logan, occurred during the periods of October 2020 to March 2021.
Logan disclosed when he addressed journalists at the Ministry of Information recently that the 29,125 refugees are residing in the border bordering Counties of Nimba, Grand Gedeh, River Gee and Maryland.
Of the total number of newly arrived refugees, Logan stated that by age and gender the LRRRC recorded a total male population of 2, 909 and female population of 3,071 (0-4 years) while from 5-17 years the entity recorded a male population of 5,746 and female population 5,462 respectively.
From 18-59 years, Logan disclosed that a total male population of 3,983 was recorded while 6,831 females were registered by the entity, those in 60 plus, he noted that a male population of 330 was recorded while 793 females were registered.
Meanwhile the LRRRC Director General has also disclosed that 20 percent of the 93 durable housing units which were dedicated by President Weah in Bahn, Nimba County during his Counties tour has been given to members of the host communities while eight percent has been given to the Ivorian refugees.
He said "this initiative is to support their integration into the local community and in contributing to UNHCR and LRRRC Local Integration Strategy."
According to the LRRRC Boss, the estimated cost of each unit contained in the 93 durable Housing units is approximately US$8,100 which puts the total value of the 93 units at US$729, 00.
"And we want to use this medium to thank UNHCR as well as the EU for these supports," said Logan in expression of gratitude.
He at the same time asserted that an additional 15 durable Housing units are currently been constructed by the EU/UN Spotlight Initiative through Plan International, adding that the construction of these Housing units are in fulfillment of the global compact on refugees, UN convention that calls for the support and protection of refugees by host government and is in alignment with the Government of Liberia's Pro-poor Agenda for Prosperity and Development (PAPD).
Logan also disclosed that the United States Government reports on Human Rights 2020, indicates Liberia has taken positive steps in addressing the plight of refugees and persons of concern.
"The Government of Liberia was commended for ensuring the free movement of refugees, access to asylum, access to employment through issuance of work permits social protection of refugees, and upholding the principle of non-refoulement."
Logan furthered that the report maintained that the Government cooperated with UNHCR, other humanitarian organizations, and donor countries in providing protection and assistance to IDPs refugees, returning refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons and other persons of concern.
Meanwhile the LRRRC DG said in order to buttress government's efforts in calling for a total involvement in agriculture, the commission has decided to reactivate its Jonhsonville reintegration site for returnee that will be involved in livestock farming, vegetable growing and other agriculture activities.
He said the commission intends to use agriculture as a livelihood tool for integrating refugees as most of them are mainly agrarians. "The Commission wishes to use this medium to appeal to the Government mainly through the ministry of Agriculture for support for these programs," he pleads.
Logan recalled that the influx of the Ivorian refugees in Liberia was due to the fear of post elections violence in Cote d'Ivoire as a result of the last Presidential election held in October 2020.