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Number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia tops 31,000 mark, second airlift scheduled

Briefing notes

Number of Ivorian refugees in Liberia tops 31,000 mark, second airlift scheduled

28 January 2011

According to our latest registration figures, there are now 31,339 Ivorian refugees in eastern Liberia who have fled post election violence and tensions in Côte d'Ivoire.

Most of them are being hosted in 26 villages in the Liberia's eastern Nimba county. The vast majority of the refugees are women and children and in most cases they are finding shelter in the border villages and live side by side with the local communities. Our field teams on the ground gather information about new arrivals through these local communities where refugees are then assisted and registered.

The influx of Ivorian refugees to other neighbouring countries has been small and slow to date. Presently there are 623 in Guinea, 173 in Togo and 108 in Mali.

Meanwhile, a second airlift of UNHCR relief supplies to Monrovia is scheduled for this weekend. A UNHCR-chartered McDonnell Douglas MD11 is expected to arrive on Sunday from Liege, in Belgium, with some 83 metric tones of aid, including 17,000 blankets, 11,400 mats, 11,400 jerrycans, 5,700 kitchen sets, 5,700 tarpaulins, from the agency's emergency stockpile in Copenhagen.

The items will temporarily be stored at the new UNHCR warehouse at Robertsfield International Airport, some 60 km east of the Liberian capital and then transported by trucks to the eastern parts of Liberia.

UNHCR's first emergency airlift to Liberia took place on 19th December 2010 to meet the urgent needs of the first wave of Ivorians fleeing post-election violence and tensions in their country.