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Côte d'Ivoire Complex Emergency Situation Report #2 (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 (GoCI). On September 28, the GoCI activated a defense agreement with France that prompted the provision of logistical support to Côte d'Ivoire. On October 17, the GoCI and opposition forces signed a French-brokered peace agreement. However, in late November as the peace process progressed, two new opposition factions in the western part of the country emerged. Despite ongoing peace efforts, these new opposition groups have engaged in violent clashes with GoCI, French troops, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peacekeeping forces since December 2002.

NUMBERS AT A GLANCE
SOURCE
Internally Displaced
(January 2003)
1,000,000 1 United Nations
Refugees
(January 24, 2003)
Liberia: 36,000 Liberian Refugees Forced to Return
20,000 Ivorians
Guinea: 3,000 Ivorians
20,000 Returned Guinean Migrants
Burkina Faso: 17,000 Burkinabe Migrants Returned
State/PRM

Total FY 2003 USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Assistance to Côte d'Ivoire: $433,133
Total FY 2003 USG Humanitarian Assistance to Côte d'Ivoire: $433,133 2

CURRENT SITUATION

Political and Military Situation. Following the initial October 17 peace accord, a second peace agreement was signed on January 24 in Marcoussis, France, with two new opposition groups who emerged in western Côte d'Ivoire in recent months. Under the second agreement a new consensus Prime Minister, Seydou Diarra, was named to the position. However, both the GoCI and the opposition groups have expressed displeasure with the terms and slow implementation of the accord. Late February peace talks in France and Togo have so far failed to achieve a consensus agreement with all parties involved.

Despite the ceasefire, western Côte d'Ivoire has become the most volatile region of the country. On February 20, GoCI ground and air forces and Patriotic Movement of Côte d'Ivoire (MPCI) troops clashed near the western town of Zuenoula in one of the larger clashes during the month. Other outbreaks occurred near the border with Liberia in mid and late February, spilling over into Grand Gedah County on February 28. While violence continues in the western area, the primary front, near Bouake, has remained relatively quiet in recent months.

Security Situation. Abidjan continues to be tense due to civil unrest. Many international organizations, including American and French, have been temporarily relocated or reduced staff due to the insecurity. France has deployed more than 3,000 troops, many in Abidjan, to protect French interests and act as peacekeepers.

As the western areas have been the most insecure in recent months, humanitarian access has been limited. In particular, the area between the towns of Toulepleu, Guiglo and Touba remains highly unstable. On February 21, WFP reported that access to the east part of the western area was possible at that time, as they carried out several food distributions. However, the far western area remains largely closed. One international non-governmental organization made it to Blolequin briefly before being turned around and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reportedly made a brief visit to Toulepleu. As of January 24, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) reported that the city of Bouake and the surrounding areas, as well as the town of Korhogo, remain accessible to humanitarian organizations.

Humanitarian Situation. According to the U.N., as many as one million Ivorians could be internally displaced as a result of the conflict. However, many humanitarian organizations in Côte d'Ivoire believe the actual number to be significantly less than this estimate. As the vast majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Côte d'Ivoire have found shelter and support with host families, UN OCHA acknowledges that establishing their location and numbers has been extremely difficult.

As the crisis continues, the U.N. Children's Fund estimates that as many as 70,800 people, primarily women and children, will require emergency assistance by March 2003. U.N. assessments in January and February found health, food, and shelter to be among the primary humanitarian needs of the IDPs. On February 12, the World Health Organization released a report finding that 85 percent of medical personnel in opposition-held zones have left their posts, and that at least 70 percent of health care facilities are not functioning.

Refugees. According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) approximately 36,000 Ivorians have fled Côte d'Ivoire as a result of the conflict. Many have moved across the border to Liberia where they live among returned Liberian refugees. Liberian refugees living in Côte d'Ivoire also continue to return to Liberia both on their own and through repatriation efforts. UNHCR estimates that 40,000 Liberians refugees remain in Côte d'Ivoire.

USG HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE

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

To date in FY 2003, USAID's Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) has contributed 10,000 MT of P.L. 480 Title II emergency food assistance valued at $5.6 million to the U.N. World Food Program's West Africa Coastal Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation - a portion of which is dedicated to feeding Liberian refugees in Côte d'Ivoire, and Ivorian refugees in Liberia and Guinea.

Thus far in FY 2003, State/PRM has provided $1.25 million to UNHCR for general operations and an additional $1.5 million for UNHCR's Emergency Appeal for Côte d'Ivoire and the West Africa sub-region. This funding is in support of the needs of Ivorian refugees and Liberian refugees fleeing Côte D'Ivoire. In addition, State/PRM has contributed $30 million to UNHCR and $29.2 million to the ICRC in un-earmarked assistance for use in Africa in FY 2003.


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
$383,113
Total FY 2003 USG Humanitarian Assistance to Côte d'Ivoire
$433,113 2

Bernd McConnell
Director, Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance

Footnotes

1 Many humanitarian organizations working in Côte d'Ivoire believe the actual number of IDPs to be significantly less than the U.N. estimate. See "Humanitarian Situation" section for further details.

2 USG funding totals reflect funds provided in Côte d'Ivoire in response to the crisis. State/PRM and USAID/FFP also provide sub-regional humanitarian assistance to refugees and IDPs in Côte d'Ivoire and neighboring countries. See "Refugees" and "USG Humanitarian Assistance" sections for further details.