UN humanitarian envoy visits Côte d'Ivoire

8 December 2003

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Humanitarian Envoy to Côte d’Ivoire, Carolyn McAskie, has arrived in the country’s capital, Abidjan, on her fourth evaluation mission, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

The United Nations Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Envoy to Côte d’Ivoire, Carolyn McAskie, has arrived in the country’s capital, Abidjan, on her fourth mission to evaluate how the country is normalizing itself after fierce fighting.

On Sunday she met President Laurent Gbagbo of Côte d’Ivoire, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Albert Tevoedjre, and the UN Country team to discuss pressing humanitarian issues, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

In her meetings with President Gbagbo, Ms. McAskie called attention to several issues, including the protection and return of internally displaced persons and the need for basic services, such as education and health to be restored, especially in the north and west of the country, OCHA said.

Economic Community of West African States and French peacekeepers are stationed between the government-ruled southern area of the country and the rebel-held north and west.

Ms. McAskie also raised the issues of land disputes, which have recently led to the expulsion of some farmers and she emphasized the need to find long-term solutions, OCHA said.

She stressed that education should be accessible to all children and pointed out the importance of making the school year official for some 700,000 children in the northern and western areas. They have attended alternative schools since Côte d'Ivoire's crisis began more than a year ago.

Ms. McAskie also met international donors and called on them to mobilize contributions totalling $59 million for the 2004 UN Consolidated Appeal for Côte d'Ivoire to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, now numbering almost a million people.

 

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