Sierra Leone: UN official pledges efforts to boost resources for refugee camps

Sierra Leone: UN official pledges efforts to boost resources for refugee camps

After touring refugee camps near Sierra Leone's border with Liberia, where fighting has produced an intermittent influx of people as clashes flare, a senior United Nations official has pledged greater efforts to bolster the resources available at the sites.

Alan Doss, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Deputy Special Representative for Sierra Leone, said he would look into the concerns of both the refugees and the host community. "My coming here is a sign of the United Nations' concern for your welfare," he told the refugees he visited yesterday as part of an assessment mission to two camps. "We will do our best to help solve some of your problems, but we need your cooperation."

During his visit to the camp at Jimi Gbagbo, Mr. Doss was told that there were inadequate health facilities for the more than 6,000 residents there. While at Taiama camp, where more than 7,000 refugees live, he was informed that aid workers lack adequate resources to combat the problem of malaria.

Officials from UNAMSIL, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA) accompanied Mr. Doss on the trip.