UNHCR beefs up aid supplies to cope with Ivory Coast crisis

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The UN refugee agency said Tuesday that it has beefed up its relief supplies to deal with refugees fleeing Ivory Coast's post-election crisis, saying that it could now handle up to 30,000 people.

"Over the past few days, UNHCR has been beefing up its contingency arrangements for Cote d'Ivoire in light of the continued instability there," said Adrian Edwards, spokesman for the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"Ahead of the weekend, we airlifted additional supplies to Liberia and Guinea from our emergency stockpile in Copenhagen. We currently stand ready to cope with the needs of up to 30,000 refugees," he said.

Some 6,200 Ivorians, mostly women and children, have fled to Liberia and Guinea, according to the UNHCR.

On Friday, the UNHCR said it had already registered 4,241 Ivorian refugees in Liberia, and 200 in Guinea.

Tensions have been running high in Ivory Coast as incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo is refusing to give up power even though the international community has recognised his rival Alassane Ouattara as the victor of last month's presidential run-off election.

© 2010 AFP

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