Humanitarian situation in Cote d'Ivoire remains challenging: UN spokesman

13:19, April 28, 2011      

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Thousands of people face enormous humanitarian needs in Cote d'Ivoire, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said Wednesday.

"Humanitarian needs persist in the areas of shelter, food security, health care, water and sanitation, access to education and protection," according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Nesirky said.

The spokesman also noted that "the vulnerability of thousands of people is aggravated by a lingering lack of security in certain places, as well as by the difficulty in obtaining access to essential health, education and sanitation services."

The United Nations has deployed an evaluation and coordination team, known as UNDAC, to Cote d'Ivoire's economic capital Abidjan and the western part of the country since April 19 to identify the needs of the most vulnerable people, according to Nesirky.

According to UNDAC, the Cote d'Ivoire government needs assistance in the areas of civilian protection, health, education and public hygiene, Nesirky said.

The current crisis in Cote d'Ivoire began when Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down as president after a November 2010 run-off presidential election in the West African country. Alassane Ouattara was the UN-certified winner of the elections, but Gbagbo' s forces have prevented his government from taking over, leading to violent clashes.

Source: Xinhua
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