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Côte D'Ivoire Complex Emergency Situation Report #1 (FY 2003)

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U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
Background

In September 2002, opposition forces launched an uprising in Abidjan - marking the beginning of nearly four months of intermittent fighting between several opposition groups and the Government of the Côte D’Ivoire (GCdI). On September 28, the GCdI activated a defense agreement with France that prompted the provision of logistical support to the Côte D’Ivoire. On October 17, the GCdI and opposition forces signed a peace agreement. However, in late November as the peace process progressed, two new opposition factions, the Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP) and the Far West Ivory Coast People’s Movement (MPIGO), emerged. The MJP and MPIGP engaged in violent clashes with GCdI, French troops, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeeping forces through December and January, despite ongoing peace efforts.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
SOURCE
Internally Displaced
(January 2003)
1,000,000 United Nations
Refugees
(January 24, 2003)
Liberia: 38,000 Liberian Refugees Forced to Return
20,000 Ivorians
State/PRM
Guinea: 3,000 Ivorians
20,000 Returned Guinean Migrants
Burkina Faso: 17,000 Burkinabe Migrants Returned

Total FY 2003 USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance to Côte D’Ivoire $433,133
Total FY 2003 USG Humanitarian Assistance to Côte D’Ivoire 1 $433,133

CURRENT SITUATION

The GCdI and opposition forces signed a peace agreement on January 24 in Marcoussis. Despite the peace agreement, a ceasefire has not yet materialized. As a result of ongoing violence between opposition forces and the GCdI, all non-governmental organization (NGO) expatriate staff in the western areas of the country were evacuated to Abidjan in January. According to field reports from the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance’s (USAID/OFDA)implementing partners, riots between supporters of the opposition and supporters of the GCdI have affected Abidjan and Daloa intermittently since January 24 as a result of discontent surrounding the terms of the Marcoussis peace agreement.

On January 29, the Minister of the Interior announced that the Marcoussis peace agreement was unacceptable and would not be honored by the GCdI. Due to unrest in Abidjan, the U.S. Embassy is temporarily closed.

Humanitarian Situation and Access - According to the U.N., approximately one million Ivorians are internally displaced as a result of the conflict. Many of the internally displaced seek refuge host families and are difficult for the humanitarian community to track. As the crisis continues, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that as many as 70,800 people, primarily women and children, will require emergency assistance by March 2003. The United Nations (U.N.) Humanitarian Envoy visited the central and western regions of Côte D’Ivoire during the week of January 24 and found food, shelter, and medicines to be among the primary humanitarian needs of the displaced populations. On January 4, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported that emergency health care, including the need for medicine, medical equipment, and the retention of medical staff is the primary humanitarian concern in the conflict zones.

Access to vulnerable populations continues to vary throughout the country. As of January 24, UN OCHA reported that the city of Bouake and the surrounding areas, as well as the town of Korhogo, remain accessible to humanitarian organizations. However, humanitarian access to the western areas of the country, particularly along the Liberian border, remains difficult. Humanitarian organizations continue to engage the MJP and the MPIGO to determine which opposition group controls the area and has the authority to grant humanitarian passage. As of January 28, the Office of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) suspended operations in Côte D’Ivoire due to the deteriorating security situation.

Refugees. According to U.S. Department of State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (State/PRM), approximately 20,000 Ivorians fled the Côte D’Ivoire as a result of the conflict. In addition, as many as 40,000 of the 72,000 Liberian refugees in Côte D’Ivoire have either returned home or sought refuge in neighboring countries.

In January 2003, State/PRM provided $1.5 million to UNHCR to support the needs of Ivorian refugees and Liberian refugees fleeing Côte D’Ivoire. In addition, to date, State/PRM contributed $30 million to UNHCR and $29.2 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in unearmarked assistance for use in Africa.

USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

On November 7, 2002, U.S. Ambassador Arlene Render declared a disaster in Côte D’Ivoire due to impact of the ongoing violence on vulnerable populations. USAID/OFDA provided $50,000 through the U.S. embassy to ICRC to provide emergency non-food items (NFIs) to vulnerable communities. MERLIN received $383,113 from USAID/OFDA to support emergency health care to rural communities surrounding Daloa, Yamousousoukro, and Bouake through mobile health clinics. USAID/OFDA’s Emergency Disaster Relief Coordination (EDRC) for West Africa continues to monitor the situation from the region.

In FY 2003, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) contributed 7,000 MT of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance valued at $4.25 million to the World Food Program’s (WFP) West Africa Coastal Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO) - a portion of which is dedicated to feeding Liberian refugees in Côte d'Ivoire, and Ivorian refugees in Liberia and Guinea.

U.S. GOVERNMENT HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO CôTE D’IVOIRE

Agency
Implementing Partner
Sector
Regions
Amount
FY 2003
USAID
$433,113
USAID/OFDA
$433,113
ICRC NFIs Countrywide
$50,000
Merlin Emergency Health Countrywide
$500,561
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance to Côte D’Ivoire in FY 2003
$433,113

TOTAL USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE TO CôTE D’IVOIRE IN FY 2003 $433,113

Footnote

1 USG funding totals reflect funds provided within Côte D'Ivoire. State/PRM also provides assistance to Ivorian refugees throughout the region. UNHCR receives additional, un-earmarked funding from State/PRM to support refugees across Africa. For moreinformation on regional and Africa-wide assistance through State/PRM, see" Refugees" section above.