28 July 2009 [Abidjan - Cote d' Ivoire]
The ECOWAS Commission has presented a cheque for 75 million FCFA to the Ivorian Government to enable it take assist the victims of the recent floods in Abidjan, which claimed over twenty lives and resulted in substantial damages to property.
The cheque was handed to the Minister for African Integration and Spokesperson for the Government, Mr. Amadou KONE, by the ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Gender, Dr Adrienne Diop. The ceremony was also attended by the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Mayor of Abidjan.
Presenting the donation, Dr Diop said it was the contribution of the ECOWAS Commission to the Ivorian Government to support it in providing assistance to the victims of the terrible flood incident and a demonstration of the willingness of the sub-regional economic institution to stand by its Member States during natural disasters. She used the opportunity to inform the Ivorian authorities of the efforts being made by the ECOWAS Commission to build the disaster response capacity of ECOWAS Member States through the training of National Focal Points and the establishment of a humanitarian depot in Bamako, Mali, which stockpiles emergency supplies to support victims of natural disasters.
Responding on behalf of the Government, the Minister for African Integration expressed gratitude to the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, for this valuable financial assistance. He assured the Commissioner for Human Development and Gender of the ECOWAS Commission that the donation would be judiciously utilised.
Mr KONE appealed to the ECOWAS Commission to equip itself with a mechanism for prevention and information on climatic change, which would enable ECOWAS Members States to prevent natural disasters, like the terrible flood that occurred in Abidjan. The Ivorian Minister said this is becoming increasingly necessary with the recurrence flooding in the Member States that plunged families into grief. He further urged ECOWAS to support the urbanisation policy of Member States.
The Minister later handed over the cheque to the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, who repeated the appreciation of the government to the Commission, saying that the gesture will serve to alleviate the suffering of the victims of the Abidjan flood.