Côte d'Ivoire: "We must not let the people of Côte d'Ivoire down". ERC Amos

16 April, 2011
Ivorian women carry wood while UN peacekeepers patrol the streets of Duekoue in Côte d'Ivoire on 4 April 2011. Credit: UNOCI/Basil Zoma
Ivorian women carry wood while UN peacekeepers patrol the streets of Duekoue in Côte d'Ivoire on 4 April 2011. Credit: UNOCI/Basil Zoma

Former president Laurent Gbagbo was captured by President Alassane Ouattara's Republican Forces on 11 April, but the situation in Abidjan remains volatile. According the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 900 deaths have been confirmed in Abidjan and western Côte d'Ivoire as a result of the conflict, including retaliatory attacks. A Commission of Inquiry appointed by OHCHR will investigate the allegations of serious abuses and violations of human rights committed in Côte d'Ivoire.

Humanitarian needs across the country are extensive. The response is ongoing in Côte d'Ivoire and neighboring countries, particularly Liberia, which hosts the majority of Ivorian refugees. It is estimated that 800,000 people have been internally displaced inside Côte d'Ivoire, and over 160,000 others have fled to neighboring countries.

A UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team arrived in Côte d'Ivoire on 12 April to strengthen humanitarian assessment, operations and coordination for the ongoing relief effort. In Abidjan, for the first time in weeks, UNICEF has been able to deliver supplies including medicine, nutritional supplements, soap and blankets. However, the provision of humanitarian assistance in the city remains difficult due to the continuing insecurity and violence which are impeding humanitarian access.

Entire neighborhoods have been without electricity and water for weeks, raising concerns that cholera, which is already present in Côte d'Ivoire, could spread further. Many hospitals and health facilities have been unable to operate properly, and those that have stayed open do not have enough doctors, medicines, and other basic equipment to meet all their needs. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is warning about food insecurity in the country, particularly in Abidjan, as food is difficult to find in the markets and prices have risen sharply. FAO has also identified urgent agricultural needs in western Côte d'Ivoire, and is warning that the sanctions and the economic downturn continue to affect the entire population. Of particular concern are the vulnerable households already affected by poverty and food insecurity, particularly in the west and north of the country and in the shantytowns in the larger cities.

On 13 April, the revised emergency action plans for humanitarian response in Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia+4 were launched in Geneva. The two revised documents reflect the increased needs for IDPs, refugees and host families, calling for $146.5 million for Liberia and $160 million for Côte d'Ivoire and its other 4 neighbouring countries. "We need to act now," Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos told the Security Council on 13 April as she called on nations to donate more money for humanitarian assistance to Côte d'Ivoire. "We must not let the people of Côte d'Ivoire down.”

More>> OCHA Situation Report #21

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