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SLUG: 2-307486 Liberia/Displaced (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=9/14/2003

TYPE= CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=LIBERIA/DISPLACED (L-O)

NUMBER=2-307486

BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN

DATELINE=GENEVA

CONTENT=

VOICED AT:

INTRO: The United Nations has begun moving thousands of homeless people out of Liberia's overcrowded capital, Monrovia, to camps on the outskirts of the city. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports, U-N aid workers say they will be better able to assist people when they are living in the camps.

TEXT: At least 300-thousand people from rural areas flooded into Monrovia in June, seeking refuge from fighting between government troops and rebels. Tens-of-thousands of them are crammed into small buildings such as schools and clinics.

A spokeswoman for the U-N refugee agency, Delphine Marie, describes the conditions under which these people are living as miserable.

/// MARIE ACT ///

There is no proper hygiene structures, not enough latrines in those places. There is development of various diseases. There has been a wide cholera epidemic in Monrovia. That is also due to the unavailability of potable water and of sufficient hygiene structures.

/// END ACT ///

Ms. Marie says these homeless people will be much better off, once they are moved to the camps outside Monrovia. She says it will be much easier for humanitarian agencies to organize the distribution of goods in these designated areas.

/// OPT /// Because it has been so difficult to provide assistance to displaced people in Monrovia, many have gone hungry and the sick have gone unattended. But Ms. Marie says most basic services will be provided in the camps and life for the displaced should be improved. /// END OPT ///

/// 2ND MARIE ACT ///

That they have enough latrines, that there is water, there is a clinic or health services available to them in the camps. We will also provide some new shelter equipment where it is needed, and we will resume distribution of blankets, mats, buckets, jerry cans, other items as well as food distribution by the World Food Program in these areas.

/// END ACT ///

Ms. Marie says her agency has worked very closely with the West African peacekeepers to improve the security in and around the camps. She says patrols are taking place three times a day among the different camps, and checkpoints are set up in several locations.

The United Nations hopes to move 30-thousand displaced people now living in 56 schools in Monrovia into the camps by October 20th. That will free up the classrooms for the start of the school year. (SIGNED)

NEB/LS/DW/TW



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