Plight of Liberians worsening as fighting continues

Geneva, March 23, 2003 - "Gbangar is under attack." So begins the latest update from Charles Pitchford, Lutheran World federation/World Service (LWF/WS) representative in Liberia.
"20,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) that were camped in the Phebe area in camps for IDPs have now been evacuated and have started moving towards Totota." Pitchford writes that he visited the Totota IDP Camps on March 20 and was dismayed to see that "they were grossly overcrowded with new arrivals from the most recent fighting - all people who had fled Gbangar City and the TV Towers IDP Camp flee."

He says that water is in critical short supply and that food had not yet been made available to those recently displaced. "LWS distributed BP5 Protein Biscuits in Totota on March 20 and would be distributing food to all new arrivals when the UN's World food Program made it available.

He concludes his report to the ACT Coordinating Office of the global alliance ACT International, of which LWF/WS is a member with the following words, "the humanitarian situation is very bad and getting worse."