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Ivory Coast says needs 15-20 billion euros recovery funds

Reuters, Friday 27 May 2011

Newly inaugurated Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara said on Friday his country needed between 15 billion and 20 billion euros in funding to recover from the violent political turmoil of recent months.

"Ivory Coast needs 15 to 20 billion euros to escape from poverty and economic pain. And I count on the G8," Ouattara told France's Europe 1 radio, as Group of Eight leaders meeting in the northern French seaside town of Deauville pledged financial support for Egypt and Tunisia.

Ouattara, who was due in Deauville on Friday with other African leaders, said French President Nicolas Sarkozy had already promised Ivory Coast 2 billion euros in debt relief and said he would ask U.S. President Barack Obama for "a little bit more."

"The G8 must help us because Ivory Coast has been in a unique situation," he said, adding that the country needed support to help it stabilize after several months of unrest.

In their summit communique, G8 leaders announced a "Deauville Partnership" to support new Arab democracies and pledged a financial support package worth around $20 billion for Egypt and Tunisia.

Ivory Coast is still reeling from a bloody four-month standoff spurred by the refusal of long-time leader Laurent Gbagbo to stand down after a U.N.-certified November 28 presidential election showed Ouattara to be the winner.

Ouattara was finally inaugurated as president this month after France and the United Nations helped his forces oust Gbagbo, who is now under arrest.

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