Returning Ivorians lack food, shelter and medical care, UN aid agencies say

27 June 2011
Ivorians collect food at distribution centre in the west of the country

Many Ivorians returning to their home towns and villages in the wake of their country’s post-electoral crisis are in dire need of food, shelter and medical assistance, the United Nations humanitarian arm reported today.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said recent assessments have indicated that internally displaced persons (IDPs) returning to western Côte d’Ivoire are in especially strong need of assistance.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians remain displaced in the West African country, more than two months after former president Laurent Gbagbo finally surrendered, ending months of violence that erupted when he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election last November to Alassane Ouattara.

OCHA reported today that IDPs are gradually returning to their homes, but security fears and the ongoing presence of the pro-Ouattara Forces Républicaines de Côte d’Ivoire (FRCI), an armed group, in some areas has deterred many from doing so.

An estimated 142,000 Ivorian refugees remain in neighbouring Liberia, with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) currently verifying the figures.

Meanwhile, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) continue to distribute aid, and have provided food, cash and agricultural kits to at least 110,000 households inside Côte d’Ivoire, as well as to refugees and host families outside the country.

A measles vaccination programme in northern and central Côte d’Ivoire also achieved 94 per cent coverage.



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