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UN steps up aid to Cote d'Ivoire's displaced

02-16-2011 16:43 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency UNHCR on Tuesday started clearing ground for a new camp to house internally displaced persons (IDPs) in western Cote d'Ivoire, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here.

The office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has so far registered 38,600 IDPs in western Cote d'Ivoire, said UN officials.

"UNHCR is also looking for additional sites to accommodate more IDPs," as many of the displaced had been surviving so far on the generosity of local families and charities, Nesirky said at a daily news briefing.

The agency also said that the continued tensions forced some families to move closer to the border with Liberia while others crossed the border to seek asylum.

UNHCR has already registered more than 36,000 arrivals there. The agency is preparing for up to 100,000 refugees in Liberia, Nesirky added.

According to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), 85 percent of the Ivorian refugees in Liberia are women and children.

In response to a measles outbreak that had killed five Liberian children in Nimba County, where 97 percent of the refugees were hosted, UNICEF supported a health campaign for children between the ages of six months and 16 years old, the UN officials said.

UNICEF has also distributed nutrition, health and HIV/AIDS medication to public health centers and partners, Nesirky said.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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