ERC Valerie Amos Visits West Africa

1 April, 2011
Ivoirians who have fled to Liberia. Credit: IRIN/Sarah Birke
Ivoirians who have fled to Liberia. Credit: IRIN/Sarah Birke

The United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos is on her first visit to Liberia from 1 to 2 April 2011.

ERC Amos will assess the humanitarian response thus far and existing challenges that have arisen from the mass migration of 125,000 Ivorians who have sought safety in Liberia. She is also expected to hold discussions with senior officials of the Government of Liberia, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Liberia and representatives of UN agencies.

The Ivorian economic capital Abidjan remains volatile, with heavy fighting bringing the death toll to 462 since the beginning of the crisis, according to the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire. On March 24, ERC Amos called on those involved in the violence “to respect civilians including aid workers and to allow rapid, safe and unimpeded access by humanitarian organizations.”

The escalating insecurity in Cote d’Ivoire has led to a sharp rise in displacement both within the country, where up to one million are displaced, and to neighbouring countries. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, who arrived in Liberia on 23 March, warned that the violence in Cote d’Ivoire threatens Liberia’s own peace. The most pressing humanitarian needs for refugees and local communities alike in Liberia are clean water, shelter, food, health, protection, sanitation, education and security.

“It is clear this conflict has to stop,” Guterres said after meeting traumatized Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia. “The amount of human suffering is horrendous. All neighbouring countries can be dramatically impacted.”

Pour la version française visitez le portail d'OCHA en Afrique de l’Ouest et Centrale (ROWCA).

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