Cote d’Ivoire In Need Of Additional Humanitarian Assistance, On Verge Of Health Crisis, U.N. Agency Says

Though post-election violence in Cote d’Ivoire has ended, thousands of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance, including health care, education, water, shelter and protection, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement (.pdf) on Wednesday, the U.N. News Centre reports.

“[A]n estimated one million Ivorians were displaced by the violence, including those who fled to neighbouring countries – particularly Liberia, which is hosting 135,000 Ivorian refugees,” according to the news service (4/28).

OCHA warned the country is on the brink of a health crisis, as more than half of the nation’s clinics are closed, and those that are operating have no food or medicine, according to OCHA spokesperson Kayode Egbeleye, VOA News reports (Hinshaw, 4/28). According to the U.N. News Centre, medical supplies and personnel are being provided to hospitals, and mobile clinics have been established in the west and the capital of Abidjan (4/28).

Waterborne diseases, such as cholera, remain a threat, VOA News adds (4/28). UNICEF announced it has launched a measles vaccination campaign among youth in the country, AlertNet reports. The agency, with other aid organizations, is stepping up efforts to provide health care and education to the tens of thousands of children affected by the fighting, according to the news service (Fominyen, 4/28).

International donors have pledge $160 million in assistance for Cote d’Ivoire, but very little of that amount has been provided, Egbeleye said, VOA News states. “Out of this amount the real sum that comes to Cote d’Ivoire is like $22.4 million. So we need more resources, we need more money to be able to respond quickly and positively where the needs are most immediately felt, notably in the area of shelter, health, protection of civilians, and this is where we really need to respond quickly,” said Egbeleye (4/28).