February 6, 2013 -
A biometric data collection exercise has completed its first phase exercise towards the issuance of a Liberian National Passport to those integrated in Ghana.
The two-week exercise was was help at the Buduburam refugee camp in Ghana, and screened over 500 applicants.
According to a report on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) website, the cessation of refugee status for Liberian refugees formally came into effect in 2012, and many have since returned to Liberia. Many who have not, have opted to integrate locally in Ghana.
Similarly, reported in BiometricUpdate.com, the Liberian ECOWAS Biometric Passport was recently launched in the U.S. To identify and unite Liberians living outside of the country. These passports each cost about $200.
Though it is unclear as of yet, it is assumed the Liberian passport for which biometric data is currently being collected in Ghana will be similar to the ECOWAS Biometric Passport announced last year in Washington.
Currently, Ghana is having passport issues of its own, as new reports suggest the country’s passport office is having trouble managing the large number of applicants for the country’s new biometric passport and has fallen drastically behind as a result. The country’s machine readable passport is expected to be phased out by 2015 to make way for full adoption of the biometric passport.