Ivory Coast crisis - 2011
April 6, 2011
Thousands of refugees have fled from Ivory Coast to neighboring countries, including Liberia, following the political crisis after disputed elections in November 2010.
Oxfam is gearing up its response to the escalating humanitarian crisis.
The crisis in the region began almost four months ago following the contested presidential election in Ivory Coast, which has caused months of instability, abuse and violent clashes in the country, leaving hundreds dead and thousands displaced from their homes. More than 100,000 people have crossed into Liberia but this number continues to rise as insecurity worsens.
UNHCR has registered 46,000 refugees arriving in Liberia in the last month, and its latest contingency plans report that 250,000 refugees could flee into Liberia from the Ivory Coast, as a result of continuing political violence.
The majority of refugees are staying with host families near the border, but conditions for refugees are dangerously inadequate, with most lacking adequate shelter, clean water and basic sanitation.
Oxfam's reponse to the Ivory Coast/Liberia crisis
Oxfam has deployed humanitarian experts and is starting water and sanitation work. We have already airlifted relief supplies for up to 70,000 people into Liberia, including water tanks and drilling equipment, together with essential supplies such as latrines. The supplies are being sent to Nimba, Grand Guedeh, and Maryland counties where camps are being prepared for an anticipated quarter of a million refugees.
We also plan to help families hosting refugees to restock their diminished food supplies, by providing them with seeds and agricultural support.
We are also monitoring the situation in other neighboring countries where hundreds of refugees have already fled.
Oxfam is calling on the international community to pay greater attention to the worsening refugee crisis in Ivory Coast and the region, and calling on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to push donors to fund the aid response to the crisis.
Oxfam has been working in Liberia for more than a decade.