UN appeals for $88 million aid over Ivory Coast

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The UN on Tuesday appealed for 88 million dollars to ward off the risk of a "humanitarian crisis" in Ivory Coast and help neighbouring countries with refugees as tensions gripped the West African nation.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement that "two million Ivorians, including 100,000 refugees and 450,000 internally displaced people could be affected if a major humanitarian crisis developed."

So far more than 25,446 people have fled Ivory Coast, the overwhelming majority of them -- more than 25,000 -- to neighbouring Liberia, while another 17,296 people are displaced inside the country, according to the UN.

"The first appeal is for a emergency humanitarian action plan for Ivory Coast and four countries amounting to 32.7 million dollars, to reinforce the logistical capacity of humanitarian agencies and... meet humanitarian needs," said OCHA spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs.

The United Nations also appealed separately for 55 million dollars to help Liberia deal with about 600 arrivals a day from Ivory Coast, including Ivorians and former Liberian refugees returning to their homeland.

The six-month appeals will be adapted continually "depending on the needs of the situation," said Byrs.

© 2011 AFP

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