UNOPS in Liberia was established in 2004 following civil conflict that destroyed much of the country’s core infrastructure.
As the United Nations lead entity for physical infrastructure in peacebuilding settings, UNOPS can initiate projects swiftly and effectively.
UNOPS constructs and rehabilitates key physical infrastructure across the country, supporting the Government’s development efforts in a variety of sectors:
In 2008 the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) undertook to free the Ministry of Internal Affairs from substantial rental obligations by building new Ministry offices in Monrovia. To ensure rapid and successful project implementation, UNDP hired UNOPS to manage the project. Following successful and timely project implementation in only 120 days, the United Nations Country Support Team requested UNOPS to rehabilitate a second building for the Ministry.
With United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funding and logistical support from the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), UNOPS constructed a 60 metre, pre-fabricated steel bridge over the Nuch River. This provides road access to five of the seven districts in Liberia’s most remote county, Grand Kru, which had not seen traffic since the early 1970s. The Project utilized labour-intensive methods to provide work to 250 people from vulnerable groups, including women and former combatants.
In 2005 UNOPS worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to rehabilitate high priority schools in areas receiving displaced persons along the borders of Lofa and Nimba counties. The project restored 13 schools; improved and increased local primary education by 20 per cent, particularly for girls and children associated with fighting forces; established effective community- and school-based monitoring and supervision mechanisms; and trained and equipped Ministry of Education staff to ensure long-term sustainability and management.
UNOPS has established and renovated offices to accommodate personnel from the International Monetary Fund, the Liberian Forestry Initiative, UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank. Services include upgrading security in compliance with United Nations Security Standards, installing computing networks, satellite and ISDN Internet and telephone connections. UNOPS also provides United Nations compound management services.
Having suffered acutely during years of conflict, Maryland and Lofa counties lack the resources to accommodate large numbers of displaced people. To help cater to the vulnerable thousands, UNICEF decided to rehabilitate destroyed clinics and create water and sanitation facilities. UNOPS provided essential structural needs assessments and evaluations of completed work.
Justice and reconciliation
In 2005–2006 on behalf of UNICEF, UNOPS managed the rehabilitation of three police stations in Monrovia to host new protection centres. The new facilities provide for improved police handling, management and investigation of sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse.