ERC Amos urges support for refugee response in Liberia

2 April, 2011
Monrovia, Liberia: ERC Amos accompanied by a UNHCR Associate Protection Officer and the Grand Gedeh County Superintendent visits the kitchen site of the Toe Town Transit centre and meets a refugee who is preparing her meal. Credit: UNMIL/Osman Sankoh
Monrovia, Liberia: ERC Amos accompanied by a UNHCR Associate Protection Officer and the Grand Gedeh County Superintendent visits the kitchen site of the Toe Town Transit centre and meets a refugee who is preparing her meal. Credit: UNMIL/Osman Sankoh

On the second and final day of her first visit to Liberia, Ms. Amos traveled to Toe Town in Grand Gedeh County bordering Côte d’Ivoire where she talked with Ivorian refugees who discussed their difficult trek into Liberia and their current living conditions. She also met with local people and humanitarian organizations to take stock of the ongoing relief effort and the challenges they face in meeting the needs of the refugees and the local community hosting them.

“Many of the refugees here dropped everything and ran for their lives.  They arrived in Liberia with little or nothing. The Liberian people have shown great generosity, sharing what they have, but they need support, too.” Amos said.  

ERC Amos expressed concern for the repercussions of the crisis in Côte d’Ivoire on Liberia and urged donor countries to contribute to Liberia’s emergency action plan. Estimated needs are US$146.5 million, but the plan has so far received $35 million (23%). She praised the Government of Liberia and the Liberian people “for the welcome they have given the refugees. Over 110,000 Ivorians are living in the east, an overwhelming majority of them with or among host communities”, she said. “Liberian families are rebuilding their lives, and have responded with great generosity.   Now, aid agencies need to ensure that host communities also benefit from humanitarian relief”.

Ms. Amos strongly condemned the reported killing of some 800 people in the western Ivorian town of Duékoué. These killings amount to “gross human rights violations” and those responsible must be brought to justice.

An estimated 120,000 Ivoirians have fled Côte d’Ivoire since December 2010 following the disputed presidential election. With over 110,000 Ivorians scattered in more than 90 villages, Liberia is hosting the largest number of these new refugees. Since 24 February 2011, an estimated 85,000 have crossed into Liberia as fighting intensified.

More>> OCHA Press Release [English - French]  -  ERC Statement [English - French]


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

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