UN appeals for $87 mn for Ivory Coast crisis


Geneva : Humanitarian aid agencies in West Africa have appealed for $87.5 million to help deal with the growing crisis in Ivory Coast and the region, said the United Nations Tuesday.

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Some $32 million would be needed for neighbouring countries, including Ghana and Mali, and for the Ivory Coast itself -which has been stuck in a political deadlock since presidential elections last year failed to produce a clear result.

Migrant workers from the region currently living in the troubled country might also need assistance as the situation develops, UN officials said.

Another $55 million would be needed for Liberia, which hosts the largest population of Ivorian refugees, with some 600 people arriving daily, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) believes there are 30,000 Ivorians in Liberia at the moment, with the number expected to increase.

The UN estimates that thousands more Ivorians are displaced within their own country and in need of aid. Many are staying at compounds with unhygienic conditions “and the risks of disease are growing,” the agency said.

Post-election violence in the Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, has led to the deaths of at least 247 people, with a further 49 deemed “missing,” the UN said last week.

Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to hand over power to his rival Alassane Ouattara, the man the world recognises as the rightful winner of November’s presidential election.