Scoping mission in Liberia to strengthen collaboration of cross-border agencies in times of humanitarian crisis

06 六月 2018

From 1 to 4 May 2018, the WCO, in partnership with UN-OCHA, conducted a scoping mission in Monrovia (Liberia) under the framework of the WCO “Customs for Relief of Epidemic Diseases” (C-RED) Project. This Project supports six beneficiary countries in West and Central Africa (WCA) region and aims at strengthening customs competences and facilitation in the fight against epidemics, such as Ebola or natural disasters. It is funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The objective of the mission was threefold: to identify and assess the needs of Liberian stakeholders, to strengthen cooperation between all parties involved in the clearance of relief consignments and to draw up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) based on international best practices.

This four-day program  benefited from the participation of officials of Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Agriculture, as well as representatives of the “National Disaster Management Authority”, and Humanitarian actors such as the World Food Program, UNICEF and the World Health Organization.  

The interactive sessions of discussions underlined the challenges faced by governmental agencies and humanitarian organizations in the conveyance of relief goods at times of humanitarian crisis. Following  these discussions on the provisions existing in Liberia regarding the clearance of relief goods, the WCO, with the participants, consolidated draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and recommendations regarding further enhancement of the current procedures, with timelines for completion.

Participants thanked the WCO for the initiative and support provided. They requested C-RED follow-up missions to be organized as they provide an opportunity to improve coordination and synergy between Customs, other governmental agencies and the humanitarian actors in the country.

For more information about this activity and about the C-RED Project, please contact the project manager, Eve Gérard (eve.gerald@wcoomd.org). The WCO’s web page on Customs clearance of relief consignments is also available for consultation.