October 6

Liberia UN agency appeals for additional 35 million for relief operations

In an announcement released in Monrovia, the agency said the money would be used to support a humanitarian air service that moves workers and cargo to Liberia and within the country, and to replace equipment looted and destroyed during fighting earlier this year.Despite skirmishes in the capital last week the general security situation in the country has improved following the deployment of a West African force of 3,500 troops and President Charles Taylor’s departure in August. The troops have come under UN command and are expected to grow in number to a total of some 16,000 soldiers and security personnel.”The deployment over the coming weeks of thousands more UN peacekeepers is going to open up parts of the country that we have not been able to reach for months,” WFP Liberia Representative Justin Bagirishya said. “We know there are large numbers of people in these areas who need our assistance, so it is crucial for us to have the logistical capacity to provide it and to ensure that it goes into the right hands.”Donors have already contributed almost half of the $6.8 million requested for WFP special operations in Liberia, the agency said.WFP estimates that it will need some 9,000 tons of food each month to feed up to 500,000 people in Liberia. Current stocks are sufficient to last until the end of the year, but more donations are urgently needed to prevent supplies running out in early 2004, the agency said.Meanwhile, the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) reported today that a meeting of the Joint Monitoring Committee on the implementation of the June ceasefire agreement was being held in Monrovia.The aim of the meeting bringing together all parties of the Committee is to discuss security issues, confidence-building measures and arrangements for the 14 October governmental transition. read more