IFRC

West Africa: more support needed to respond to the humanitarian crisis caused by the political upheaval in Côte d’Ivoire

Published: 20 April 2011
Ivorian refugees hosted in a village 10 km away from the border. Benoist Matsha-Carpentier, IFRC, p-LBR0101 Ivorian refugees hosted in a village 10 km away from the border. Benoist Matsha-Carpentier, IFRC, p-LBR0101

While the Ivorian political crisis seems to be nearing an end, the humanitarian crisis it generated will not disappear overnight. In Côte d'Ivoire, more than 800,000 displaced people still face enormous challenges to survive.

The cost of living has increased as food prices and other essential items such as medicines have soared due to their scarcity.

“Food and water are running out, and there are not enough shelters and latrines for the displaced people,” said Momodou Lamin Fye, Regional Representative of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for the Sahel region.

The IFRC is working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support the Red Cross of Côte d’Ivoire in meeting a range of humanitarian needs. A sanitation campaign has taken place in Abidjan in transitional sites for internally displaced people, and in areas where cholera cases have been reported.

80 Red Cross volunteers have reached more than 19,000 households, as well as places of prayer, and more than 15,000 people in Jacqueville were provided with clean water after teams disinfected 75 domestic wells.

The IFRC will increase its presence in Côte d'Ivoire and will be scaling up its work to distribute food and emergency kits, provide shelter, water and sanitation, and to help people regain their livelihoods.

In Liberia, where more than 150,000 Ivorians have fled since the crisis began, the IFRC is supporting the Liberian Red Cross to assist both refugees and host communities. A water treatment kit in the border village of Buutuo has been installed, capable of providing 75,000 litres of drinking water each day. More than 89 latrines were constructed and 29 water pumps have been repaired in Nimba County.

Trained volunteers are currently conducting outreach activities on good hygiene practices and sanitation, while the distribution of items such as mosquito nets and kitchen kits continues. In all communities along the border with Côte d'Ivoire, the IFRC is supporting the Liberian Red Cross in providing first aid to refugees from Côte d'Ivoire.

In collaboration with sister Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, theIFRC continues to reinforce the capabilities of the Liberian Red Cross with an Operations Coordinator, a water and sanitation expert and logistics professionals. It has also deployed regional disaster response teams that are specialists in relief, water and sanitation, and food security.

The IFRC is appealling for almost 4 million Swiss francs (4.3 million US dollars, 3.1 million Euros) but to date has only received a fraction of what it needs.

“It is urgent for the international community to focus its attention on the humanitarian crisis prevailing in West Africa," said Rene de Vries, operations coordinator of the IFRC in Liberia. “We face enormous needs and emergency assistance must be delivered now.”


For further information or to set up interviews, please contact:
In Dakar:
Moustapha Diallo, West Africa communications officer
Tel +221 774 501 004 moustapha.diallo@ifrc.org

In Johannesburg:
Faye Callaghan, Africa communications manager
Tel. +27 71 895 2774 faye.callaghan@ifrc.org

In Liberia:
Ademola Alao, West Coast communications officer
Tel +231 880 683 285, Ademola.alao@ifrc.org

In Geneva:
Paul Conneally, Manager of external and public communications
Tel. +41 227 304 669 paul.conneally@ifrc.org
 

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