Côte d’Ivoire: Insecurity and population movements complicate aid delivery

4 Aug 2011

In Bahé Village, a girl walks past United Nations peacekeepers patrolling the area after armed men reportedly threatened civilians. UNICEF/Asselin.
The unpredictable security situation in western Cote d’Ivoire and its economic capital, Abidjan, is frustrating the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The unpredictable security situation in western Cote d’Ivoire and its economic capital, Abidjan, is frustrating the delivery of humanitarian assistance and keeping scores of would-be returnees from heading home.

According to Amnesty International, half a million people remain displaced by the violence that followed the presidential polls held in late 2010. The latest OCHA Situation Report said they were hesitant to head home due to “insecurity, intimidation and the uncertainty of receiving assistance.”

Some Internally Displaced People (IDPs) were venturing back despite the risks, a trend that was likely to continue until the end of August. “This anticipated return will need to be accompanied by an appropriate response,” the report noted.

The delivery of food, water and health, hygiene, and sanitation services was increasingly urgent but the back and forth movement of IDPs, who engage in “go and see” visits to assess the potential for safe return, made planning and delivery of aid more and more complicated.

The OCHA report said the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire is planning to deploy military personnel in the affected areas to bolster security. Eight military camps are planned for the Ivorian-Liberian border.

Despite a recent US$6 million allocation from the OCHA-managed Central Emergency Relief Fund, funding for the crisis remains dangerously low. As of 28 July, the Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan for Côte d’Ivoire and neighbouring countries affected by the crisis was funded at 23 percent with $55 million contributed against the $235 million required.
           
For more details on the humanitarian needs, the ongoing response and funding requirements for the emergency in Côte d’Ivoire click here.

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