WASHINGTON (CN) – President Obama has ordered the State Department to extend nearly $27 million to help refugees fleeing political turmoil in Libya and Cote d’Ivoire.
As the popular uprising against Muammar Gaddafi enters its fourth week, at least a hundred thousand refugees are already thought to be stranded on the Tunisian border with many more expected as the uprising turns violent. Obama’s order designates $15 million in aid related to the crisis.
Thousands of refugees began to leave Cote d’Ivoire, fearing renewed civil war, after embattled President Luarent Gbagbo refused to honor presidential elections the United Nations says were won by his rival Alassane Ouattara. Nearly $13 million is earmarked for refugees from the potential civil war by the president’s order.
The money will either be spent on direct aid or contributed to international non-government organizations already active in the region.