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UN Radio: Humanitarian Workers Return to Monrovia

UN Radio: Humanitarian Workers Return to Monrovia

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  • Humanitarian Workers Return to Monrovia

    A team of humanitarian workers from UN agencies led by Emergency Relief Coordinator Carolyn McAskie is in Monrovia to accelerate humanitarian operations. Ms. McAskie was meeting Tuesday with UN national staff, humanitarian non-governmental organizations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss the most effective ways to proceed with humanitarian operations now that aid workers have returned to Monrovia. A UN spokesman said that delivering food to people in need is their top humanitarian priority. Several non-governmental organizations are currently distributing high protein biscuits supplied by the World Food Programme.

    Emphasis on Getting Food out to Liberians: UN

    Meanwhile, Mohammed Siryon of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Monrovia says the emphasis is now on getting access to food in warehouses in Monrovia.

    "We couldn't get access to the food but only supplementary food has been distributed to targeted populations like the children under five, pregnant women and lactating mothers, but general food distribution has not resumed yet."

    The UN food agency (WFP) said it was conducting an assessment of some of the camps and temporary shelters to start planning for food distribution.

    UNHCR Hopes to Resume Helping Liberians as Soon as Possible

    The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it sees the departure of Charles Taylor as a positive development that would usher in a new era for Liberia. Spokesman Kris Janowski says it should allow humanitarian agencies to resume helping thousands of people who have endured years of war.

    "We already have had, since yesterday, logistics and security people on the ground and on Wednesday we will have another plane going with more supplies and some emergency staff."

    Spokesman Janowski says two more planes would be bringing in supplies and other relief items from Copenhagen in the next few days.

    Prosecutor for Special Court Wants Taylor to Face Charges The prosecutor for the special court for Sierra Leone says the departure of Charles Taylor from power and from Liberia constitutes a significant, but incomplete step forward for West Africa in establishing a just and stable peace. Prosecutor David Crane called on the international community to ensure that Taylor stands before the special court for Sierra Leone to face the serious charges against him. Crane said Taylor left Liberia as an indicted war criminal and remains an indicted war criminal.

    Annan Condemns Tuesday's Suicide Bombings

    Secretary-General Kofi Annan has strongly condemned the two suicide bombings in Israel. The bombings in the town of Rosh Ha'ayin and outside the settlement of Ariel on Tuesday, killed two Israelis and wounded a dozen others. UN Spokesperson Hua Jiang says the Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the current escalation in the violence.

    "He urges both parties to adhere to their Road Map obligations and to exercise restraint in the face of provocation."

    Mr. Annan is also concerned about the recent incursion into the Askar refugee camp near Nablus and last night's shooting incidents in the Gaza Strip.

    UNICEF Pledges Millions to Help Women and Children in Cote d'Ivoire

    The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) has said it would finance a programme to help women and children who have suffered the effects of war in Cote d'Ivoire. The UN children's agency would fund a $25 million programme over five years to ease what's described as " the alarming situation" of women and children who have been particularly vulnerable since last year's coup. The programme will concentrate on the sectors of health, nutrition and primary education, besides assuring the protection of children and adolescents, and building social and political structures. According to United Nations figures, more than a million people have been displaced by the conflict in Cote d'Ivoire.

    UNICEF Moves to Tackle Potential Malaria Epidemic in Ethiopia

    UNICEF said it is rushing drugs to Ethiopia to tackle a potentially devastating malaria epidemic among tens of thousands of people already weakened by drought. The agency said the combination of widespread malnutrition and the environmental impact of the drought could lead to widespread malaria epidemics affecting entire communities and causing thousands of deaths if left unchecked. UNICEF said malaria was moving to higher altitude areas, putting the highlands which have been traditionally free of malaria at greater risk.

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