Wednesday, 29 October 2003

Monrovia (Fides Service)- Civil war in Liberia forced humanitarian workers to suspend, temporary aid programmes for numerous displaced persons in this west African country. The Jesuit Refugee Service JRS says in a statement sent to Fides Service: The JRS was obliged to suspend its activity for reasons of security and to put on hold a project for education in camps un the Monserrado County, just outside the Liberian capital, Monrovia.
The arrival of a regional peace keeping force helped to restore order and relative security in Monrovia and surrounding area, which has opened the way for humanitarian agencies to resume their programmes. At the beginning of September the JRS regional director for West Africa accompanied by the director of the project for Liberia, made a fact finding visit to refugee camps in Monserrado Bong counties and also to Bomi County to inspect Tubmanburg and surrounding area, occupied by LURD. The JRS team contacted various humanitarian agencies and attended numerous meetings to plan join action. It also met once again local Catholic Church representatives and UNICEF officials. After this the JRS decided to resume its projects, and it did so at the beginning of October to offer refugees assistance and help them return to their places of origin. A JRS team of five members is in Liberia to organise educational and pastoral programmes and a number of small development projects.» (L.M.) (Fides Service 29/10/2003, lines 25 words 318)