Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), a global non-governmental organization and local partner, the National Housing Authority (NHA) have completed the first step in developing Voluntary Gender Responsive Relocation Policy Guidelines (VGRRPG) to provide a framework for planned voluntary processes, under the Cities Alliance led Liberia Country Program, supported by the University of East London, UK.
According to a release, this followed a two-day policy roundtable in Monrovia, bringing together over sixty participants including women, drawn from twelve slum communities affected by various hazards, risks and vulnerabilities, as well as government agencies, Cities Alliance Liberia Country Program partners, and local organizations.
The relocation guidelines respond to demand from communities for clear principles, rights, community-led approaches, procedures, coordination and resources for all.
As part of the participatory process leading up to the policy roundtable discussions, during October 2018 twelve slum communities in Monrovia and Paynesville provided initial inputs around their needs, concerns and perspectives to inform the development of the first draft of the VGRRPG. According to the release, a total of 12 communities selected due to their various locational, climatic, and climate change risks and hazards include
West Point, Popo Beach, Doe Community, Clara Town, Gorbachop; Peace Island, Buzzy Quarters and Wein Town, among others.
According to the head of the Slum Upgrading Unit (SUU) at the NHA, Es-samir Bropleh, the draft VGRRPG shared at the workshop for validation reflects all inputs received from several community and government stakeholders.
The Chief Party for Habitat for Humanity International Mr. Mathew Ndote, said the objective of the policy roundtable discussions is to engage all relevant stakeholders in the development of VGRRPG that shapes a framework for engagement, coordination, and integration and respects human rights of affected communities.
He emphasized that the draft guidelines will be validated at various levels, including through consultations with community and government stakeholders, policy roundtable discussions, the City Forum for Greater Monrovia, scheduled for the 29th of April 2019 and Cities Alliance Project Steering Committee scheduled for the 30th of April 2019, respectively.
The release further details that Professor Siraj Sait, a development and gender policy specialist from the University of East London in the UK is in country to provide inputs into the validation process. Press Release