Security in Côte d’Ivoire’s biggest city, Abidjan, is improving and commercial activities such as retail trade and banking are resuming, but tensions remain high in other parts of the country, notably the west, where outbreaks of violence have been recorded, the United Nations reported today.
Aid agencies have identified an estimated 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) across the country, but only 28 per cent are accommodated in established IDP sites, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in an update.
Côte d’Ivoire’s political crisis ended when former president Laurent Gbagbo finally surrendered in mid-April, ending months of violence that erupted in the wake of his refusal to step down after he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election in November last year to Alassane Ouattara.
Frequent movements of people to and from their areas of origin have made it difficult for agencies to come up with an exact number of IDPs. Many of the displaced often make trips to their homes of origin to assess conditions to ascertain possibilities for return.
Aid workers are concerned that current food supplies are insufficient and water and sanitation conditions remain inadequate. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has reported that some 77,000 people have received food assistance since the start of the month, while the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) began distributing kitchen sets, jerry cans, mats, blankets, feminine hygiene kits, soap and bleach to IDPs in eight sites around Abidjan on 6 May.
The humanitarian appeal for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries which were affected by the crisis has received just over $36 million of the $160 million requested.
In neighbouring Liberia, the UNHCR has reported that Ivorian refugees continue to arrive at a rate of 250 per day. As of 6 May, 173,169 refugees have been registered.
Refugees in Liberia’s River Gee county are in urgent need of food and health-care assistance, but with the onset of the rainy season, reaching them has become difficult, even as communities hosting them run out of resources.