Posted by: africanpressorganization | 7 June 2011

Norway increases support to Côte d’Ivoire to NOK 100 million

 


 

 

 

Norway increases support to Côte d’Ivoire to NOK 100 million

 

OSLO, Norway, June 7, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Norway will provide an additional NOK 30 million to Côte d’Ivoire. The money will be used for reconstruction and reconciliation efforts. The aim is to help to stabilise the situation in the country.

 

Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim visited Côte d’Ivoire this week to help to consolidate the peace that has been achieved and to support the ongoing reconciliation efforts. His programme included a visit to Duékoué in the western part of the country, where the worst massacres during the four-month-long conflict took place.

 

“Women in the refugee camp told me heartbreaking stories of what had happened. Bullet holes and skulls in nearby houses bore silent witness to the atrocities that have taken place here,” said Mr Solheim.

 

He now hopes that Ivorian society will start functioning again, and that the country will manage to get back on its feet.

 

“It is terrible to see the destruction and suffering that has been caused by the conflict. On the other hand, the outcome could have been a lot worse. It is a step forward that the elected President, Allasane Ouattara, is now in power, but he has an immense task ahead of him. Militias need to be disarmed, and the rule of law must be re-established. It is important that he facilitates reconciliation,” said Mr Solheim.

 

Norway has previously provided NOK 60 million in the form of emergency relief, in addition to money channelled through the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). This means that the total assistance provided by Norway amounts to NOK 100 million.

 

Allasane Ouattara won the presidential election in November last year, receiving 54% of the votes, whereas Laurent Gbagbo received 46%. Mr Gbagbo refused to step down, and in April he was arrested following a brief war. Intense fighting and looting in Abidjan and in the western part of the country have caused extensive suffering. Close to one million people are internally displaced.

 

Photos from Mr Solheim’s field visit are available on the Ministry’s Flickr page:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/utenriksdept

 

SOURCE 

Norway – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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