Refugees and displaced people in western Côte d’Ivoire need help with basic services and rebuilding, says UN Deputy Humanitarian Chief
(Abidjan / Geneva, 17 January 2012) - The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, traveled Tuesday to Guiglo, Blolequin and Duekoue in western Côte d’Ivoire to see for herself the humanitarian situation in the region.
The western part of the country was severely affected by the violence at the height of the post-election crisis. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee seeking refuge in safer areas in Côte d'Ivoire, others going across the border into Liberia. As the situation has stabilized and security has improved, particularly since July 2011, many displaced persons and refugees in Liberia have returned to their villages of origin.
Joined by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Côte d'Ivoire, Mr. Ndolamb Ngokwey, and the Director of Social Affairs, Mr Adama Coulibaly, ASG Bragg met representatives of the local authorities and humanitarian organizations. Ms. Bragg also met people who had been able to return to their villages, including Yeaglo (Blolequin) and Niambly (Duekoué) and visited a camp in Nahibly (Duekoué), where some 4,557 displaced people are currently living.
"It is important to strengthen humanitarian action in this region. We need to make sure that the basic needs of people living in those villages are met and help them rebuild homes and community buildings. It is therefore essential that financial resources are available," underscored Ms. Bragg. "We will do our part, but the communities must do theirs in taking steps to build this together, so that Ivorians can live side by side in harmony."
Ms. Bragg was welcomed by UNOCI, whose peacekeepers play a key part in enhancing security for the return of IDPs and refugees, a role that must remain important in 2012.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.