Strengthening border management, social cohesion, and cross-border security in the Parrot’s Beak region
The validation workshop, Sierra Leone. Photo: ©IOM/Alfred Fornah
The Parrot's Beak region, where Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia meet, has seen increased movement of people and goods. This bustling crossroads has led to economic growth and cultural exchange, but also provided opportunities for illegal activities to thrive, with criminal networks exploiting the lack of coordination and vulnerability of border communities for trafficking and smuggling. The Joint Programme aims to address these challenges by strengthening border management, promoting social cohesion, and improving cross-border security through diverse activities among authorities and communities.
To address some of these challenges, the Joint Programme strengthened the capacities of various actors, including border authorities, security forces (police, gendarmerie, army), and health officials. This was achieved through capacity-building to address gender-based violence, human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and health threats.
665 border and health officials trained on illegal trading, SGBV, trafficking, and health.
6 border posts and facilities were renovated and equipped with solar panels, radios, tablets, and motorcycles.
Promoting social cohesion among border communities is essential for stability in regions such as the Parrots’ Beak. This vital effort enhances well-being and trust among communities, while combatting marginalization. The Joint Programme helps strengthen border structures to facilitate regular dialogue, emphasizing shared interests, and contributing to improved community services and long-term livelihood sustainability.
6 community-based meetings, 15 community awareness events and 15 social cohesion activities were organized among border communities, reaching almost 1,900 individuals.
15 village surveillance committees were set up in border districts.
3 financial support mechanisms were created for youth and women to enhance economic inclusion, reaching so far 111 individuals.
78 trafficking and SGBV survivors benefited from medical and other support services.
Dugout canoe race on the Makona River, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone. Photo: ©IOM
In 2022, a canoe race was organized on the Makona River, which originates in Guinea and flows southwest, crossing Liberia and Sierra Leone. This initiative, which reached 80,000 people, brought together the border communities of the Parrot's Beak region to raise awareness of different topics ranging from social cohesion to epidemic prevention to security measures. The canoe race not only promoted healthy competition, but also brought villages together, fostered community spirit, and strengthened cohesion among the localities.