The recent launch of the Liberia Refugee Repatriation, Resettlement Commission or (LRRRC) National Internally Displace Person or (NIDP) survey reports yields positive result as expected, as officials of government and private individuals commit themselves, pledging financial assistance to the LRRRC for the wellbeing of disadvantaged youths in the country.
Giving an Executive summary of the survey report in the Ballroom of the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Paynesville outside Monrovia, the Director General of the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services or LISGIS, Prof. Francis Wreh says the 2019 ‘Zogos’ survey represents a milestone in the history of statistics in Liberia, noting that it is the country’s first ever survey on disadvantaged youth and national internally displaced persons.
Professor Wreh explains that the project was implemented by LRRRC, with financial support from the Government of Liberia and partners, including the International Organization on Migration (IMO), the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, (UNHCR).
According to the LISGIS boss, the survey covers Montserrado, Margibi, and Grand Bassa Counties, respectively with the overall objective of establishing current situation regarding zogos’ exploitation and abuse in the targeted communities, and the kind of solution that government and its partners provides to find a solution to their problems.
“This survey is also intended to collect information in each of the targeted communities to enable identification and analysis of the causes and consequences of disadvantaged youth engage in issues that affect their growth and development”, he says.
The NIDP Survey report describe disadvantage youths in every country as young people with fewer opportunities than their peers, and are consider as youth at risk, vulnerable youth, disconnected youth or socially excluded youth in the society.
He notes that the NIDP, commonly known as zogos, are vulnerable people with special needs, including internally displaced and poverty-stricken men, women, youth, as well as child, among others, who were associated with the Liberian civil war.
Professor Wreh reveals the survey targeted 5,274 households in 46 communities with 46 pre-selected ghettos, detailing that from the data, male constitute 91 percent of the total 5,274 respondents, which implies that male are vulnerable to drugs addiction than female, comprising 8.5 percent.
The Managing Director of the Forestry Development Authority or FDA C. Mike Doryen, says the Liberian society has an obligation to disadvantaged people, adding, “we either make the society better for everyone in order for zogos to become useful in the society, and to stop them from becoming armed robbers to chase after us.”
“As a society, we’re under obligation to cater to these people, not by an act of generosity, but as a society to make sure that the welfare of these people are addressed and they are reintegrated into society for them to live a normal and decent life.”
The FDA boss notes that failure by officials to do this; they will not just fail the society, but themselves as well.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the LRRRC, Rev. Festus R.B. Logan says the LRRRC is a government humanitarian agency responsible for the coordination of refugees, displaced persons, migrants and people of concern, saying the LRRRC was established by an Act of Legislation in 1993.
“As we all know after the 14 years of civil war here in this country, which led to millions of people being displaced out of Liberia, people will want to know why the survey was conducted”, says Rev. Logan.
He says the prognosis of the war that brought people together, and the process that led to children getting involved in the war created the National Internally Displace Person or NIDP, noting that most of those individuals were involved in war, and that the disarmament process did not really affect some.
Rev. Logan continues that most of them affected today, are people who participated in combat or were routed out of their villages and migrated to Montserrado County, putting additional cause of the NIDP as urban migration, while people went in the interior and brought children in the name of providing them better living condition, social problems, marital breakdown physiologically affected many young people. By Lewis S. Teh
–Editing by Jonathan Browne