Côte d'Ivoire: Return remains difficult for the displaced

21 June, 2011
Internally displaced Ivorians in the west of the country. Credit: UNHCR/F. de Woelmont
Internally displaced Ivorians in the west of the country. Credit: UNHCR/F. de Woelmont

Two months after the post-electoral violence in Côte d'Ivoire, there are still approximately 322,277 Ivorian Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country and more than 200,000 Ivorian refugees in 13 neighboring countries, most of them in Liberia, according to the latest UNHCR statistics. The registration of IDPs is ongoing.  

In Abidjan and in the West, many IDPs are willing to return to their homes. However, according to the latest OCHA situation report, persistent fear of insecurity and the destruction of their homes and livelihoods are discouraging them from returning.

On 10 June, three humanitarian assessment  teams visit 17 neighborhoods in Abidjan where 27,646 people are now threatened by flooding. The visit found enormous needs in shelter, water, sanitation, and hygiene. Humanitarian workers and the Government are now working together to relocate people threatened by flooding. 

The Ministry of Health has confirmed 42 cases of cholera in the Koumassi district of Abidjan following the flooding. UNICEF has provided local health authorities with medical supplies to treat up to 1,000 affected people. Radio public awareness campaigns were also launched across the country to teach people how to purify water.

In addition, teams comprised of UNHCR, partner agencies, local authorities, and IDP representatives visited seven villages in the West to assess conditions for return and the level of damage or destruction of homes.  The assessment recommended that those residents whose houses require simple repairs and plastic sheeting should be assisted immediately.

Currently Côte d'Ivoire only receives 25% of the total need in humanitarian funding, which impedes humanitarian assistance in the country, particularly in the West. 

More>> OCHA Situation Report #10