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Extra aid committed to Liberia


Extra aid committed to Liberia

The Government has committed another £4.7m to help with the humanitarian crisis in Liberia, bringing the UK's total assistance to the country to £7.6m for 2003.

The funds will be allocated to United Nations agencies, non-government organisations and the International Committee of the Red Cross to respond to immediate humanitarian needs.

Hilary Benn, Minister of State for International Development, said:

"The people of Liberia have suffered terribly. This new assistance is intended to help them to survive and cope, by providing life saving support and services, while seeking to establish a basis to promote long term development."

Although security in the capital, Monrovia, has improved, the humanitarian situation there remains very serious with nutrition and water particular concerns. Access is limited outside the capital but initial assessments indicate that needs are great in the countryside too.

The Government has also contributed £1m to support the Economic Community of West African States peacekeeping operation in Liberia. A battalion of troops from Nigeria has stabilised the security situation in central Monrovia and taken control of the port. A UN peacekeeping operation is expected to take over in October.

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