Statement from UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, on the situation in Cote D'Ivoire

 

"UNICEF continues to be gravely concerned by the ongoing violence in Cote d'Ivoire and its alarming impact on children. We are especially troubled by reports that children are among the victims of a mass killing there. And children continue to be recruited by armed forces on all sides of the conflict – a grave violation of their rights which jeopardizes not only their future but also the chances for achieving sustainable peace in Cote d’Ivoire.

UNICEF is working to assist those in need with humanitarian supplies, but our programmes have been seriously compromised by the fighting. In the West, UNICEF has been able to reach out to the displaced population with basic supplies, but we urgently need to reach those at risk, especially in Abidjan, where an estimated one million displaced people are in dire need. We fear outbreaks of disease if we and other agencies cannot reach the thousands of internally displaced families.

UNICEF joins its voice to the many others who have called upon all sides in this conflict to cease the violence against civilians and to permit humanitarian aid workers to reach those in greatest need.”

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Stephen Pattison
Senior Media Officer, Children's Rights and Campaigns
stephenp@unicef.org.uk
Tel: + 44 (0)20 7375 6085

Press Line: + 44 (0)207 375 6030

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk.