Liberia + 2 more

Liberia: US offers $3.6 million for refugees and returnees

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ABIDJAN, 28 January (IRIN) - The United States government is to provide US $3.6 million to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, to assist in refugee emergencies in Liberia, the US embassy in the Liberian capital, Monrovia reported on Monday.
A statement from the embassy said $2.1 million would address the needs of Liberian refugees forced to flee into neighbouring countries like Guinea and Sierra Leone and $1.5 million would be used to respond to the needs of Ivorian refugees and Liberians returnees who were forced to flee recent armed hostilities in Cote d'Ivoire.

The funds, the embassy said, were made available through the State department's Office of Population, Refugees and Migration and followed appeals by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

"This contribution continues the US Government's commitment to help meet the immediate needs of the Liberian people," the statement said.

In 2002, the US government again provided $23 million in direct assistance to address humanitarian needs and community-based development programs in Liberia.

Since 19 September when hostilities began in Cote d'Ivoire, at least 33,000 Ivorians have crossed into Liberia and 30,648 Liberian returnees have returned home to Liberia, according to UNHCR. Another 5,296 third country nationals previously living in the West of Cote d'Ivoire have also crossed into Liberia.

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