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UNHCR concerned about aid workers missing in Liberia

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UNHCR concerned about aid workers missing in Liberia

4 March 2003 Also available in:

5 March 2003

GENEVA - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees today expressed grave concern over the fate of three humanitarian workers from the Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA) who have gone missing in the highly volatile border region of Liberia.

In a statement issued from ADRA's international headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA, the agency said ADRA's country director for Liberia, Emmanuel Sharpolu; Kaare Lund of ADRA Norway; and driver Musa Kita were reported missing after being caught in fighting in Toe Town, close to the Liberia-Côte d'Ivoire border. The aid workers were on their way to visit a Norwegian-funded ADRA project.

"Once again, we are painfully reminded of the dangers aid workers face daily in their efforts to help uprooted people in West Africa," said UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner Mary Ann Wyrsch, who recently visited the region.

UNHCR is doing all it can to help locate the three men and remains extremely concerned about the general situation in Liberia's volatile border region, where aid workers are struggling to help tens of thousands of people who have fled fighting in neighbouring Côte d'Ivoire. ADRA is one of UNHCR's partner agencies in the area.