ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, January 13, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire, Bert Koenders, on Thursday, 12 January 2012, met the World Bank’s Director of Operations for Côte d’Ivoire, Bénin, Burkina Faso and Togo, Madani Tall, in Abidjan to discuss economic and security support to Ivorians.
Speaking at the end of the discussions, which the Special Representative described as constructive, he said: “We are in a transition period concerning the strengthening of the country’s institutions. We are supporting Ivorians in terms of economic construction”.
Mr. Koenders added: “We discussed the strengthening of UNOCI’s and World Bank’s assistance in order to adequately respond to certain problems in the country, for example in the west of the country, and youth unemployment”.
He also said that they had discussed the reinforcement of security and economic development, as well as the return of social services throughout the country. “It is important that together we play a role by the side of Côte d’Ivoire at this historical moment,” said the Chief of the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI).
For his part, Mr. Tall told journalists that there was concordance of views between UNOCI and the World Bank. “The World Bank in Côte d’Ivoire is trying to make a contribution, especially with regard to development. We have a big programme which I presented to Mr. Koenders,” he said.
He highlighted the need for complementarity between all actions to consolidate security in Côte d’Ivoire, and development efforts. “When all the towns are secure, people have to be provided with water and electricity, buildings have to be rehabilitated, health services strengthened and schools have to be built,” said Mr. Tall. “In all these areas, we are going to work with the United Nations in general and in particular with UNOCI to see what we can do together,” he said.
In the coming months, “we would consider a number of approaches which have already been tested and piloted by UNOCI successfully in Côte d’Ivoire,” he added.
Mission of UN in Côte d’Ivoire