Red Cross urges support for w. Africa relief efforts

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The Red Cross called Wednesday on the international community to boost support for relief efforts in west Africa, which has been affected by Ivory Coast's unrest in recent months.

"While the Ivorian political crisis seems to be nearing an end, the humanitarian crisis it generated will not disappear overnight," the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said.

The relief group said it will increase its presence in Ivory Coast to distribute more food and other essential items to thousands who have been affected by the violence.

It is also helping the Liberian Red Cross cope with the inflow of Ivorian refugees, who have fled across the border over the past weeks.

A water treatment kit has been installed in the border village to provide about 75,000 litres of water, for instance.

However, the federation said it has received only a fraction of the $4.3 million (3.1 million euros) sought for the region.

"It is urgent for the international community to focus its attention on the humanitarian crisis prevailing in west Africa," Rene de Vries, operations coordinator of the IFRC in Liberia, said.

"We face enormous needs and emergency assistance must be delivered now," he stressed.

© 2011 AFP

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