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UN Launches $69 Million Appeal for War-Torn Liberia - 2003-08-06


The United Nations is urgently appealing for $69 million to assist one million people in war-torn Liberia until the end of the year.

In launching the appeal, the United Nations said Liberia's long civil war has degenerated into a human catastrophe of horrific proportions.

It describes a society in which there has been a total breakdown of law and order and where people are subject to the grossest violations of human rights and lack the most basic necessities.

A spokeswoman for the World Food Program, Christiane Berthiaume, described the appalling conditions in Liberia. "The word catastrophe is not even strong enough to describe the situation in Liberia...There is no food in the market. There is nothing," she said. "And, this country has been at war for 14 years and people have no stock. They are living day by day. And, we at WFP, because of insecurity, we have not been able to deliver food for the last two weeks."

The United Nations says people in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, which has been under siege for weeks, suffer from famine and shortage of everything from water and shelter to sanitation and security. It notes the situation for people outside the capital is probably even worse.

The U.N. notes communicable diseases, such as cholera, are on the increase and urgent action is needed to prevent an epidemic. It warned a delay in providing emergency aid would cost countless lives