Conakry- Guinea (PANA) -- The 4,000 Ivorian refugees in Guinea could go back to t heir country willingly during the first quarter of 2010 if the results of next N o vember elections are accepted by all, a representative of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Guinea, Dillah Doumaye, said Thursday.
Speaking during a press conference, held towards the World Day for Refugees, hol ding on Saturday with the theme "Real needs for quite real people," the UNHCR re p resentative said 4,000 Ivorian refugees live in the camp of Kouankan at the sout h , some 900 kilometres away from Conakry.
"The UNHCR provides the Ivorian refugees humanitarian assistance in the area of health, water, education and facilitates access to cultivable lands, among other things," said Doumaye.
The priorities of UNHCR, he noted, are the local integration of the Liberian ref ugees and other residual cases in forest Guinea and the assistance to Ivorian re f ugees since the voluntary repatriation of 93,000 Sierra Leonean refugees between 2000 and 2004 and more than 51,000 Liberians between 2004 and 2007.
According to Doumaye, his organisation is committed to building the capacities o f the host governments to assimilate 11,000 Liberians who have opted for local i n tegration.
The UNHCR representative acknowledged that despite integration efforts, funds al located for the purpose had been inadequate.
He said that in 2008, the organisation needed US$ 5,041,400 but received only US $ 2,460,000 and in 2009, the needs are estimated at US$ 2,626,000.
Guinea has hosted some 750,000 refugees since the 1990s.