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UN agencies launch $85 million consolidated appeal for Côte d'Ivoire

UN agencies launch $85 million consolidated appeal for Côte d'Ivoire

Carolyn McAskie
In Abidjan today, the United Nations launched a system-wide appeal to help stave off a humanitarian catastrophe for 3 million people in and around Côte d'Ivoire still reeling after months of civil unrest and ethnic violence that swept the country and threatened to engulf nearly all of West Africa.

UN agencies are appealing for just over $85.8 million to respond urgently to the immediate needs of an estimated three million vulnerable war-affected people in Côte d'Ivoire and the five neighbouring countries: Liberia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana, for the remainder of 2003.

Launching the UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal from Côte d'Ivoire's main city today, Carolyn McAskie, Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Humanitarian Envoy for the crisis urged the donor community to shake off its image of Côte d'Ivoire as a relatively stable country merely undergoing a political crisis.

The conflict in Côte d'Ivoire, which erupted last September, has reverberated throughout the region. It resulted in large-scale exodus of Ivoirians seeking refuge in neighbouring countries. There have also been massive populations movements within Côte d'Ivoire's borders, as an estimated 750,000 people have been forced to seek shelter in other parts of the country. The crisis has caused social services to fail in many areas and the breakdown in law and order has led to vigilantism in the south of the country and serious human rights violations in the north and west.

"There are major humanitarian needs, which must be addressed immediately," Ms. McAskie said today. "Even if all parties agree without further delay to implement a comprehensive political settlement, it could take up to a year to repair the immediate impact, and several years to make up for the economic losses suffered. Some losses will never be regained."

The "Côte d'Ivoire Plus Five Appeal" focuses on providing aid in priority sectors including food security, health, water and sanitation, education, human rights protection, and coordination. It seeks, among other things, some $17.5 million for humanitarian programmes within Côte d'Ivoire, $8.9 million for Guinea, $3 million for Burkina Faso, $3.8 million for Mali and $8.3 million for Ghana. Humanitarian efforts to address problems such as food security, repatriation of third country nationals and health care at the sub-regional level will require $21.5 million.