Press Releases

     

    SG/SM/8813
    AFR/685
    7 August 2003

     

    “WITHOUT URGENT ACTION MORE LIVES WILL BE LOST”
    SAYS SECRETARY-GENERAL, AS UN HUMANITARIAN
    AGENCIES REQUEST EMERGENCY FUNDS FOR LIBERIA

    NEW YORK, 6 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the Kofi Annan’s message for the launch of the Revised Humanitarian Appeal for Liberia, delivered by Jacques Paul Klein, his Special Representative for Liberia, in New York on 6 August:

    This is a decisive moment for the people of Liberia.  Prolonged hostilities and misrule have kept the country on a ruinous path of death, destruction and deferred development.  Suffering blights the lives of all the country’s 3 million people, but an acute humanitarian crisis is now affecting some 1 million men, women and children, including the families and communities facing the additional burden of hosting the hundreds of thousands of people who have been displaced from their homes.

    The parties to this conflict must cease their fighting immediately and allow humanitarian aid to reach the people who so desperately need it.  The deployment of the Multinational Force that is now under way will be critical in ensuring the safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian staff to Liberians in need.  But access is only the first step.  In Monrovia alone, meeting humanitarian needs will require wide-ranging interventions to save people from life-threatening shortages of food, water, shelter, sanitation and, most of all, security.  Addressing the humanitarian situation in the rest of the country, 70 per cent of which has been cut off from aid for months, will present equally formidable challenges.

    Today, United Nations humanitarian agencies and their non-governmental partners are presenting a revised appeal for Liberia that lays out their plan to reduce malnutrition, restore supplies of clean water, provide basic shelter and health care, stem the spread of lethal diseases such as cholera, and protect fundamental human rights.  To fully carry out these operations, we are asking the donor community for $69 million to cover the period from July to December.

    The logic of this emergency appeal is simple:  without urgent action, more lives will be lost.  I urge the international community to support the United Nations Revised Consolidated Appeal for Liberia, to seize the opportunity to alleviate unnecessary suffering, to avert preventable deaths, and to let Liberians know that they are not alone in their quest for development and peace.

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