Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 May 2016, 08:28 GMT

Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Liberia

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 17 May 2010
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2009 - Liberia, 17 May 2010, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Quick facts
Number of IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total population--
Start of current displacement situation1989
Peak number of IDPs (Year)500,000 (2003)
New displacementUndetermined
Causes of displacementInternal armed conflict, generalised violence, human rights violations
Human development index169

Up to 500,000 people in Liberia were internally displaced by the 14-year civil war which ended in 2003 with the Accra Peace Agreement. IDP camps were officially closed in 2006 and the return of IDPs and refugees was completed in mid-2007.

In 2009, both the government and its international partners considered the internal displacement situation in Liberia to be over. However, the specific concerns of an unknown number of unregistered IDPs who had found refuge in public buildings in the capital Monrovia during the war remained undocumented.

Liberia is facing extraordinary reconstruction challenges and many of the vulnerabilities shown by the returnees are shared by the rest of the population. However, a survey published in 2009 showed the heavy toll that displacement had had on Liberians, as becoming displaced still represented the biggest fear for more than a third of respondents. Insecurity has continued in areas of return, with repeated clashes between rival ethnic groups over land ownership. Sexual and gender-based violence remains a major concern. Durable solutions will depend on better services and infrastructure, the peaceful resolution of land conflicts, and improved security of tenure for those who opted to integrate in the place they were displaced to, or to settle elsewhere in the country.

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were adopted into national legislation in 2004 but there is still room for better governance and wider access to justice to guarantee durable solutions. In 2009, Liberia was among the countries which signed the Kampala Convention. The current challenge is to phase out the humanitarian clusters in such as way as to enable the transition to recovery and development, yet ensure that residual humanitarian needs are addressed.

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