France says will give Ivory Coast 400-mln-euro aid package

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France on Tuesday said it would give a one-off 400-million-euro aid package to its former colony Ivory Coast, aimed particularly at meeting emergency needs in the commercial capital Abidjan.

Finance Minister Christine Lagarde announced the aid after meeting her Ivorian counterpart Charles Koffi Diby in Ndjamena the day after forces loyal to elected President Alassane Ouattara arrested his rival Laurent Gbagbo.

"Lagarde announced that France would in the coming days, as soon as financial and security circuits are re-established, give one-off financial aid of 400 million euros," her ministry said in a statement.

The aid is "to finance emergency spending on the population, the city of Abidjan and restarting essential public services," the statement said after 10 days of fighting in the west African nation's commercial capital.

"It is also to help restart the economy and to allow Ivory Coast to make its overdue payments to international institutions," it added.

© 2011 AFP

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