Poor Liberian villagers struggle to cope with Ivorian refugees: UNICEF

Poor border communities in Liberia are finding it difficult to cope with the influx of refugees fleeing the political crisis in Côte d'Ivoire, according to the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF).

Ivorian refugees in Liberia

Since early December, more than 30,000 refugees, the vast majority of them women and children, have fled to Liberia as Laurent Gbagbo refuses to step down as the president of Côte d’Ivoire.

UNICEF says that in some Liberian communities the Ivorian refugees far outnumber local people and many villagers say they cannot provide food or shelter to any more newcomers.

The agency has improved water sources, constructed latrines, and delivered thousands of water purification tablets, soap and jerry cans along the border areas.

UNICEF has also provided vaccines, nutrition and medical supplies to existing facilities to keep vital services running.


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