Food aid reaching Ivorian refugees

Jan. 14, 2011 at 11:04 AM

MONROVIA, Liberia, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Despite difficulties reaching remote parts of Liberia, the World Food Program said it was ready to help deliver food to Ivorian refugees.

Political unrest over disputed presidential claims in the Ivory Coast has led to at least 50,000 people crossing the border to neighboring Liberia.

The World Food Program said it was set up to provide emergency food assistance to the more than 22,000 refugees at border villages receiving the Ivorian refugees.

"It has been challenging to set up a distribution program in this remote and inaccessible area of Liberia but we are now up and running, getting vital nutritious food to these refugees who have fled across the border from the Ivory Coast," Getachew Diriba, WFP representative and country director in Liberia, said in a statement.

WFP started providing rations to Ivorian refugees in early January but was able to expand its assistance program to include enough food to meet the needs of the refugees for about a month.

Officials at the U.N. refugee agency said Liberia won't set up refugee camps, so displaced Ivorians are settling in border villages peacefully.

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