In Liberia, Peacebuilding Fund programming seeks to programmatically support institution-building objectives that will help the Government and UNMIL collectively work towards sustainable peace and achieve the objectives of the UN Mission. Programme design is coordinated with the efforts of the Peacebuilding Commission to accompany Liberia’s peacebuilding process. Active programmes focus on rule of law, justice and security, reconciliation, youth and prevention of conflicts related to land management.
The Fund’s most recent allocation was in October 2013, PBSO approved a contribution of $15 million, fully aligned with the Government’s Agenda for Transformation. It aims to help kick-start the National Reconciliation Roadmap, launched in June 2013, and focuses on community-level conflict management, including the Palava Hut process (with the Independent National Commission for Human Rights), conflict resolution mechanisms empowering women (the “peace huts”), conflict sensitive management of land and natural resources (in close collaboration with the World Bank), sustainable livelihoods, and constitutional and legal reform. This allocation also supports phase II of the projects to support alternative land dispute resolution mechanisms and the National Youth Service.
Under the previous allocation in June 2011, there is one remaining active programme, which is support to the development of 5 regional justice and security hubs. The first hub, established in Gbarnga town, and implemented by UNDP and UNOPS is fully operational. $2.5 million has been released for each of the next two hubs in the south-east (Hub 2 in Harper and Hub 3 in Zwedru), for a total of $ 5 million. Much has been learned from the experience of the first hub, and subsequent hubs have pursued an approach focused more on services and less on joint infrastructure.
Liberia was declared eligible to receive assistance from the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) in December 2007. Upon approval of Liberia’s (first) Peacebuilding Priority Plan (Feb. 2008), $ 15 million was granted for specific interventions. In September 2010, Liberia was placed on the Agenda of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in response to the Government’s request. An allocation of $20 million was granted in June 2011, building on recommendations of the Liberia’s Statement of Mutual Commitment agreed with the PBC. In addition to the support for the hubs (discussed above), this second allocation supported the first phases of a project to support an alternative land dispute resolution mechanism and the creation of land coordination centres throughout the country as well as a project so support the establishment of a National Youth Service.
Total funding support in US$:
The PBF has been active in Liberia since 2008 and, since then, it has allocated a total of $ 45 million. Most of the current PBF portfolio supports efforts to strengthen access to justice and security as well as the implementation of the National Reconciliation Roadmap.
Focus of PBF support:
|Project name/ ID||Focus||Period||Budget||RUNOs|
|PBF/LBR/A-14: Enhancing Access to Justice and Supporting National Capacities for Structured Legal Drafting||Support the development of national capacities in legal drafting through the harmonization of dual and statutory and customary legal systems as well as the formulation of a National Law Reform Policy||2013-2015||$ 500,000||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/H-1: Support to the Liberia Peacebuilding Office for coordination, monitoring & evaluation, communication and capacity building in conflict management||Supports coordination, monitoring & evaluation, capacity building in conflict management, and communication of PBF projects on national reconciliation, justice and security in Liberia.||2013-2015||$ 1,695,543||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/B-2:Enhancing Access to Security and Justice at the Decentralized level – Harper and Zwedru Hub Regions||Supports the establishment of the Regional Justice and Security Hubs in Harper and Zwedru||2013-2016||$ 3,062,405||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/D-13 National Youth Service Programme for Peace and Development (NYSP)||Support to the NYSP to reduce youth potential for violence’ and promote national reconciliation, by enabling youth to become key actors in peacebuilding||2013-2015||$ 1,500,000||UNICEF|
|PBF/LBR/D-12: Strengthening Local / Traditional Mechanisms for Peace at County and District level||Strengthen and institutionalize on-the-ground capacity of Peace Committees to prevent, manage and resolve local conflicts within their communities and foster social cohesion.||2013 – 2015||$ 1,500,000||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/A-13: Women’s Economic Empowerment: Building Peace, Promoting Prosperity||Support to Liberia’s at risk communities by increasing the economic security of women and girls, improving the relationship between regional traders and the security sector, and increasing women’s participation in the management of community natural resources and land.||2013-2015||$ 2,000,000||UNWOMEN|
|PBF/LBR/A-12: Support to Constitution Review Process in Liberia||Supports an inclusive and participatory constitutional reform process in Liberia.||2013-2015||$ 2,000,000||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/A-11: Community-based Truth Telling and Atonement Project||Promotes community based healing and reconciliation through traditional justice mechanism to facilitate public disclosure, acknowledgement, and apology of human rights violations committed during the civil war (Palava Hut)||2013-2016||$ 1,000,000||UNDP|
|PBF/LBR/A-10: Community-based Conflict Management- Women as Peace-makers and Nation Builders||Increase community security and peace through enhanced leadership capacities of rural women as key stakeholders in generating a greater demand for justice and improved accountability to women’s human rights in Liberia.||2013-2015||$ 1,000,000||UNWOMEN|
|PBF/LBR/A-9: Support to the establishment of a land disputes prevention and resolution system in Liberia – Phase 2||Supports the establishment and functioning of the Land Coordination Centres (LCCs).||2013-2015||$ 2,000,000||UN Habitat|
|PBF/LBR/B-1: Justice and Security Joint Programme (UNOPS, UNDP)||Supports the establishment of the first Regional Justice and Security Hub (Gbarnga)||2010-2016||$ 7,766,494||UNDP
Overview of PBF support and results:
In the first half of 2014, the implementation of Liberia’s National Reconciliation Roadmap received a kick start with the approval of the 2013-2016 Liberia Peacebuilding Priority Plan. The Ebola outbreak in the second half of 2014, however, redirected most national and international resources to the crisis response, including a number of Fund-supported projects.
While rechanneling of resources and attention produced some delays in regular programming, a number of initiatives around peace consolidation still managed to mark progress. Services in Regional Justice and Security Hubs 1, 2 and 3 were rolled out even amidst the crisis, which contributed to the improvement of access to justice in the counties covered by the Hubs. The recruitment, training and deployment of 10 human rights officers to Hubs 2 and 3 in Harper and Zwedru counties, for example, contributed to a reduction in pre-trial detention. In addition, through Fund support, the Constitutional Review Committee completed 73 local consultations on the Constitution, reaching 10,950 Liberians, out of which 35 per cent were women.
Fund support, moreover, extended popular alternative land dispute resolution mechanisms through assistance to the Land Commission and five Land Coordination Centres (LCCs). According to 2014 monitoring reports from the five Centres, 95 per cent of government officials and 70 per cent of the general population in the 10 districts covered by the Centres are aware of their land rights, the alternative land dispute resolution mechanism and prefer to use the Centres for resolving disputes. Moreover, at the height of the ebola crisis, the good offices of the LCCs, offered a network through which trusted messaging about the health response was delivered to local communities. The reservoir of trust that enabled the LCCs to perform this critical function stems from their impressive and maturing track record, going from 17 resolved cases in 2013 to more than 200 by mid-2015, with more than 75% of decisions taken in 2014 still in force one year later.
An evaluation of the Liberian Peacebuilding Office (PBO) was completed in February 2015. One of the main recommendations of the evaluation was to transfer the Joint Steering Committee (JSC) Secretariat Functions from the PBO to the UN so as to ensure improved coordination in the context of UNMIL’s transition. Based on such recommendation, the JSC in Liberia approved a functional restructuring of the JSC Secretariat functions from the PBO to the UN, which is currently underway.
KEY RESULTS: Local consultations in preparation for the Constitutional Review Process were undertaken with PBF support, allowing Liberians away from Monrovia to have a voice in this process. The establishment of the Regional Hubs has made Justice and Security services available to larger parts of the population in the interior of the country. The set-up of an alternative land dispute mechanism through the Land Coordination Centres has reduced the threat of violent land-related conflicts.
Key documents:Download Evaluation of the Liberian Peacebuilding Office 2015
Download Peacebuilding Fund Liberia Mid-Term Review March 2010
Download Liberia Peacebuilding Programme
Download Liberia Priority Plan 2011
Download Liberia Priority Plan 2013-2016
Updated October 2015
Quarterly reports for each project are available on the MPTF-O Gateway site