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Press centre

Media advisory

UNICEF Executive Director to visit Liberia

Focus is on reuniting children recruited into armed forces with their families

Who: UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy

What: To highlight the country’s tremendous success in bringing children formerly associated with fighting forces back to their families.

When:  23 – 26 August 2004

Why: In April 2004, parties to the August 2003 Peace Accord committed themselves to the complete Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (DDRR) of 50,000 combatants. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 were children either drafted or abducted and forced to fight or work for combatants.

The DDRR process calls for a systematic demobilization of all children formerly associated with fighting forces (CAFF), and provision of support for their reintegration, with an emphasis on access to education and vocational training.

On 24 August, Bellamy will travel to Gbarnga, Bong County, the site the DDRR was re-launched, to meet with former child soldiers living at interim care centres while awaiting reunification with their families. She will also visit a UNICEF-supported teacher training programme, a vocational skills centre, and Phebe Hospital to inspect the cold chain system provided by UNICEF to store vaccines.

Bellamy will speak to journalists at press conference at 9:00 a.m., 26 Aug., at UNICEF, Bright’s Apartment, Mamba Point, Monrovia.

For more information, please contact:
MacArthur Hill, UNICEF Liberia, tel: (377-47) 516-182
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF New York,  tel: (377-47) 531-445




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