Burkina Faso + 6 more

UNICEF Humanitarian Action: Côte d'Ivoire - Sub-regional Crisis Donor Alert 24 Jan 2003

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Over 1,000,000 displaced in Côte d'Ivoire, 80% of whom are women and children

  • Over 150,000 people have already crossed into neighboring countries, straining already weak social service systems

  • US$ 5.7 million needed to cover emergency health, nutrition and education needs for the next two months

1. EMERGENCY OVERVIEW

Four months after the September 19 attempted coup in Côte d'Ivoire, the country is teetering on the brink of a catastrophe that threatens to trigger massive population upheaval if fighting between rebels and government forces continues to spread. The prognosis of peace talks in Paris is still unclear. The political turmoil has already unleashed an anti-immigrant sentiment affecting millions of foreigners in Côte d'Ivoire that likely will linger even if a solution to the current military standoff can be found. Vigilante groups, often acting with total impunity, continue to target immigrants from the sub-region.

While to date fighting has largely been contained in Côte d'Ivoire, gunmen have reportedly crossed into Liberia and attacked communities there. The alleged cross-border attacks provide yet more evidence that the instability in Côte d'Ivoire will have an increasing impact on the sub-region. The crisis must be seen as a regional one demanding an integrated regional humanitarian response. So far, over 1,000,000 Ivorians have been displaced in Côte d'Ivoire, most living with host families, who themselves have insufficient resources. Moreover, at least 150,000 immigrants from the sub-region have fled to neighboring countries. These numbers are a significant addition to the more than 500,000 people already displaced throughout the region as a consequence of years of instability in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Population displacement from and within Côte d'Ivoire will not only further destabilize the region, but will also place additional strains on already stretched health, education, protection and other social service networks in neighboring countries.

Based on current trends, UNICEF estimates that another 500,000 people, 80% of whom will be women and children, will be forced to leave Côte d'Ivoire over the next 12 months, severely taxing the absorption capacities of the communities that will host them in neighboring countries. UNICEF will require additional resources to ensure that these populations continue to receive essential health care, access to clean water and other basic services, protection from exploitation and violence as well as educational opportunities.

As Côte d'Ivoire's economy stalls, incomes will fall precipitously, increasing the vulnerability of dependent families throughout the sub-region. Wages lost in Côte d'Ivoire will be felt by millions of people living elsewhere. Up to one third of Côte d'Ivoire's estimated 16 million inhabitants are first- or second-generation migrants from neighboring countries. Remittances from workers in Côte d'Ivoire serve as a primary source of income for families throughout the sub-region and contribute substantially to the economies of Côte d'Ivoire's neighboring countries.

Each job held by a migrant in Côte d'Ivoire is estimated to contribute to the economic well being of an average of 20 members of extended families residing in countries in the sub-region. With most of the countries concerned falling into the last quarter of the Human Development Index (HDI), the implications of the crisis in the health, water and sanitation, education and other humanitarian sectors in countries in the sub-region are devastating.

Forced population displacement has been shown to increase the risk of HIV infection through prostitution in the face of extreme poverty as well as increase the incidence of sexual abuse and exploitation. Moreover, when families are displaced and income is cut, children are less likely to attend school and increased demands are put on children to work for food or money. Keeping children, particularly girls, in school is not only necessary for their learning and development but is one of the strongest protective strategies for reducing their vulnerability to violence, sexual exploitation and HIV. Consequently, support will be needed to ensure that schooling is available and that children can continue to attend classes and play safely.

2. UNICEF RESPONSE AND PLANNED ACTIVITIES

To ensure an effective and coordinated response to the emergency, UNICEF is working closely with partner agencies. Emergency response activities initiated to date include the following:

  • In Côte d'Ivoire, UNICEF is supporting mobile medical teams that have provided medical and psycho-social support to children in Abidjan, Bouake, and Korhogo and delivered emergency health, education, mosquito nets, non-food items and water and sanitation supplies to both rebel and government-held areas. Continues to advocate with all parties to ensure that children are not recruited as soldiers.

  • In Burkina Faso, UNICEF has constructed sanitation facilities at nine separate reception sites and is vaccinating arrivals against measles, yellow fever, meningitis and tetanus;

  • In Liberia, UNICEF has provided high energy biscuits and provided tents to be used as transit shelters at border crossings;

  • In Mali, UNICEF has provided shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene equipments as well as recreation kits to an estimated 1,500 refugees and asylum seekers in Zegoua and Loulouni camps. UNICEF also delivered emergency medical and surgical supplies to regional health authorities in Sikasso;

  • In Guinea, UNICEF has constructed shelters, shower units and latrines for transit centres in Lola city, conducted a measles vaccination campaign and provided high energy biscuits, medical and educational supplies, blankets, jerry cans and soap to returnees and has assisted in registration of arrivals at the border;

  • In Ghana, UNICEF has pre-positioned health, education, water and sanitation and emergency non-food items, and is providing psycho-social support for transit populations.

UNICEF activities will focus on the areas of health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, water/sanitation, education and protection.

Priority needs for the next two months are as follows:

  • US$ 3.5 million to conduct yellow fever and measles vaccination campaigns and Vitamin A distribution in urban areas in Côte d'Ivoire;

  • US$ 1 million to respond to outbreaks of endemic diseases and conduct nutritional and epidemiological surveillance;

  • US$ 1.2 million for emergency education supplies for 340,000 affected students in Côte d'Ivoire and neighboring countries

While an inter-agency consolidated appeal is being prepared, UNICEF has re-programmed $2.6 million of current resources to respond to additional emergency needs, such as impregnated bed nets and chloroquine for malaria prevention and treatment, procurement of essential drugs and provision of sanitation facilities and potable water.

The following are the on-going or planned UNICEF emergency activities in each of the affected countries:

Côte d'Ivoire

On-going fighting in the country has left an unknown number of casualties and over 1,000,000 people displaced within the country. Most of those displaced have temporarily sought shelter with members of their extended family or other members of their ethnic group. As the delivery of supplies between Abidjan and rebel held areas in northern and western Côte d'Ivoire has become increasingly problematic, up to one million people have been denied regular access to essential social services. The education sector is among the most severely affected by fluid population movements and on-going conflict. Primary schools have stopped functioning in the conflict-affected areas in the north and west leaving at hundreds of thousands of primary school students without regular access to school. The health sector has also suffered with many health centres having been forced to cut services as key staff have fled and supplies of essential medical stocks have dwindled.

On-going and planned UNICEF activities include the following:

Education: Continued advocacy with all parties to the conflict on the right to education; provision of basic school, recreation and teaching supplies for conflict-affected populaions; construction of 400 temporary classrooms for displaced populations and host communities where the displaced have sought shelter; training of 2,400 teachers to provide psycho-social support and peace education.

Health: Vitamin A distribution and provision of essential drugs sufficient to cover the needs of over one million people, and provision of basic clinical and cold chain supplies to reinforce the capacity of existing health centres; support IEC activities on community hygiene, health and nutrition for all affected populations; provision of mosquito bed nets for 60,000 children and pregnant women; Distribution of soap, sheeting, blankets and jerry cans to IDPs and affected host communities.

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention; STI prevention and case management.

Immunization: Immunization activities to protect against measles, yellow fever and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Nutrition: Continuation of nutritional surveillance and targeted nutritional support programmes.

Protection: Identification and registration of unaccompanied children with priority given to the prevention of separation and reunification; identifying, monitoring and addressing violations of children's and women's rights; support for appropriate psycho-social services for affected women and children; advocacy campaigns with both governmental and rebel authorities to ensure that children are not recruited for armed conflict, to ensure the protection of all civilians living in conflict zones and to ensure full access and security of humanitarian staff conducting activities in both government and rebel controlled zones.

Water and Sanitation: Provision of potable water and basic sanitation for displaced populations and host communities and the Liberian refugee population; targeted population includes 100,000 IDPs, 100,000 host or conflict-affected communities and 20,000 Liberian refugees in south-western Côte d'Ivoire.

UNICEF Response in the five most affected countries

In each of the five other countries in the sub-region affected by the crisis, UNICEF country programmes have taken the following steps:

  • Identified and established suitable transit sites for large populations;

  • Initiated emergency response activities;

  • Drafted contingency plans and strengthened humanitarian response coordination mechanisms with UN, NGO and governmental partners;

  • Pre-positioned relief stocks.

Burkina Faso

Burkina is among the most affected countries in the sub-region due to the presence of approximately three million Burkinabe citizens in Côte d'Ivoire. While the Burkinabe population is distributed throughout the country, the majority live in the cocoa and coffee producing areas of the southwest as well as in Abidjan. UNICEF is expecting up to 125,000 Burkinabes to return home from Côte d'Ivoire as well as a further 1,250 asylum seekers and 12,500 people in transit. Some 60,000 Burkinabes have returned home to date, many being accommodated initially in five reception sites along the border and five transit sites. An estimated 55% of the population is below the income poverty line. The country is suffering from an HIV sero-positive rate of 7.1%

On-going and planned activities include the following:

Education: Provision of basic school supplies for 45,000 children (age 3-12), recreation supplies for 54,000 children (age 6-18); construction of temporary classrooms for host communities, asylum seekers and returnees;

Health: Vitamin A distribution and provision of essential drugs sufficient to cover the needs of 125,000 people, and provision of basic clinical supplies to reinforce the capacity of existing health centres in affected areas and temporary health centres in transit and reception sites; support IEC activities on community hygiene, health and nutrition for all affected populations; provision of mosquito bed nets for 31,000 children and pregnant women.

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention of infection; STI prevention and case management.

Immunization: Immunization activities to protect against measles, yellow fever and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Protection: Identification and registration of unaccompanied children with priority given to the prevention of separation and reunification; identifying, monitoring and addressing violations of children's and women's rights; support for appropriate psycho-social services for affected individuals in host communities, asylum seeking, transit and returnee populations.

Water and Sanitation: Provision of potable water and basic sanitation for 139,000 returnees, refugees and transit populations as well as for host communities; provision of soap and other basic non-food items as part of a return package for those returning to their home communities.

Ghana

Ghana is host to refugees from a number of countries in Africa including Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While some 130,000 Ghanaians live in Côte d'Ivoire, few have returned to date. However, given the difficulties Malians and Burkinabes in southern Côte d'Ivoire face reaching the border with their home countries, Ghana has been the logical transit point and serves as a stable and safe refuge. By mid-January, up to 1,000 people/day were crossing into Ghana from southern Côte d'Ivoire. The majority of those transiting Ghana are Bukinabes. Based on current trends, UNICEF estimates that by the end of 2003, approximately 240,000 people will transit through Ghana for Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and other countries in the sub-region. A further 15,000 returnees, 10,000 Liberian refugees who had been in Côte d'Ivoire and 5,000 Ivorian refugees are also expected to cross into Ghana. The major challenge is to facilitate the movement of approximately a quarter of a million people from the border with Côte d'Ivoire to the northern border of Ghana with Burkina Faso, requiring numerous way stations along the journey during which time food, shelter and psycho-social support must be provided. Water and sanitation facilities at reception and transit sites are inadequate. Given the deteriorating health condition of transit populations, additional health and nutritional support will be required.

On-going and planned activities include the following:

Education: Educational services and materials will be supplied to 4,000 children living in camps;

Health: Vitamin A distribution and provision of essential drugs and basic clinical supplies sufficient for 190,000 people;

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention of infection among refugees, returnees and transit populations and host communities;

Immunization: Immunization activities to protect against, meningitis, and other vacccine-preventable diseases;

Nutrition: Nutritional surveillance and targeted nutritional support programmes for transit populations;

Protection: Identification and registration of unaccompanied children, with priority given to prevention of seperation and reunification; identifying, monitoring and addressing violations of childrens and women's rights; support for psycho-social services for affected individuals; birth regiostration

Water and Sanitation: Installation of water storage and distribution facilities in the receiving centres at the borders, way stations and transit sites sufficient for 240,000 people in transit, 15,000 Liberian and Ivorian refugees and 15,000 Ghanaian returnees; construction of latrines for 30,000 refugees and returnees; provision of personal hygiene education and kits for 50,000 women of child bearing age; provision of jerry cans for 10,000 Liberian and 5,000 Ivorian refugees.

Guinea

As a result of the recent wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, Guinea already plays host to some 100,000 refugees. Liberian refugees continue to pour into Guinea on a daily basis. Based on current trends of population movement, UNICEF estimates that approximately 50,000 Guineans will return from Côte d'Ivoire by the end of the year. In addition some 28,000 refugees from Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia and 10,000 people in transit are expected to cross into Guinea placing even more strain on a weak infrastructure and the already impoverished home communities of the returnees. There are already indications of an increase in endemic diseases, such as yellow fever, in host communities and refugee camps.

UNICEF Guinea's on-going and planned activities include the following:

Protection: Monitoring and addressing violations of children's and women's rights; identification and registration of unaccompanied children, tracing and reunification with their parents; identifying, monitoring and addressing violations of childrens and women's rights; support for psycho-social services for affected individuals. Training of humanitarian workers to ensure adherence to Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) code of conduct on sexual abuse and exploitation.

Education: Restoring education for 16,000 Guinean returnees, Ivorian refugees and host communities by building temporary classrooms and provision of basic educational kits for 16,000 children; teacher training and social mobilization activities to foster a culture of peace in crisis-affected areas; provision of basic equipment for recreational activities.

Health: Provision of essential drugs and basic medical equipment sufficient for 88,000 people; prevention of disease transmission through the provision of soap, sheeting, blankets and jerry cans to IDPs, refugees and host communities; provision of supplementary foods for the malnourished; and provision of Vitamin A for all affected children. Support to IEC activities on community hygiene, health and nutrition for all affected populations.

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention of infection among 20,000 vulnerable children and women. Put in place support mechanism for AIDS orphans.

Immunization: Reinforce immunization activities for host communities to protect against measles, yellow fever and other vaccine-preventable diseases and provision of vaccines and cold chain supplies. Set up of new immunization services to provide for refugees and returnees.

Water and Sanitation: Provision of potable water and access to basic sanitation for 88,000 returnees and refugees as well as for host communities; drilling of new wells and installation of water tanks and construction of latrines for host communities and returnees; and chemical treatment of new and existing wells.

Liberia

Despite the official end of seven years of civil war in Liberia in 1996, violence resurfaced in 1999 when rebels took up arms against the new government. This has resulted in over 130,000 IDPs, and thousands of Liberians fleeing to neighbouring countries where they have since sought refugee status, (60,000 are in Côte d'Ivoire and around 50,000 in Guinea) and large swaths of insecurity along the northern tier of the country. Faced with increasing violence in Côte d'Ivoire, Liberians who were settled in the southern half of the country have fled west towards Ghana along with Malian and Burkinabe nationals. In the northern half of Côte d'Ivoire, which is cut off from the southern portion by the current conflict, Liberians, Ivorians and other nationals have been forced to flee to Liberia. UNICEF is providing initial emergency support and is preparing to respond to the needs of 50,000 Liberian returnees, 50,000 people in host communities and 10,000 Ivorian refugees.

Activities undertaken by UNICEF Liberia in collaboration with its partners will include the following:

Education: Provision of basic school, recreation and teaching supplies and additional temporary classrooms for 31,000 children in host communities, returnees and Ivorian refugees.

Health: Distribution and provision of essential drugs and basic clinical equipment.

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention of infection; STI prevention and case management.

Immunization: Immunization activities to protect against measles, yellow fever, and other vaccine preventable diseases for 10,000 children under five and 5,000 women of child bearing age.

Nutrition: Nutrition screening of all returnees, refugees and affected host population and provision of appropriate nutritional support for 15,000 beneficiaries.

Protection: Identification and registration of unaccompanied children, tracing and reunification with parents; advocacy to prevent the recruitment of child soldiers; identification, monitoring and addressing violations of children's and women's rights.

Water and Sanitation: Provision of potable water to returnee populations through water trucking and construction of wells; provision of sanitation facilities people through latrine construction and maintenance.

Mali

Mali's economy is intimately tied to that of Côte d'Ivoire and is thus being severely buffeted by the events unfolding there. More than 70% of Mali's exports flow through Ivorian ports and more than 2 million Malians live and work there. Since the start of the crisis in September, Malians have been subjected to ethnically-based violence and human rights abuses, in part fostered by economic hardships and politically-inspired disenfranchisement. Given the current military situation which has effectively divided Côte d'Ivoire in two, approximately 6,000 Malians in the southern half of the country have transited Ghana, through Burkina Faso and eventually home. Most have traveled in convoys of buses organized by their embassy which take from 2 to 5 days to reach the border. By the time they arrive in Ghana, many have been subjected to abuse and stripped of most of their possessions. Thousands more have crossed directly into Mali from Côte d'Ivoire. UNICEF estimates that approximately 160,000 people (100,000 returnees, 40,000 asylum seekers and 20,000 in transit) will leave Côte d'Ivoire for Mali. They will require assistance to make the journey home as well as to reintegrate into the social and economic spheres in their country of origin.

Activities undertaken by UNICEF Mali in collaboration with its partners will include the following:

Education: Provision of basic school supplies for 53,000 children (age 3-12), recreational supplies for 69,000 children (age 6-18) and construction of temporary classrooms for host communities, refugees and returnees.

Health: Vitamin A distribution and provision of essential drugs sufficient to cover the needs of 140,000 people and provision of basic clinical supplies to reinforce the capacity of existing health centres in affected areas and temporary health centres in transit and reception camps; support IEC activities on community hygiene, health and nutrition for all affected populations; provision of mosquito bed nets for 12,000 children and pregnant women.

HIV/AIDS: Social mobilization activities to promote HIV/AIDS awareness and provision of life skills education for 17,200 children age 6-18; STI prevention and case management.

Immunization: Immunization activities to protect against measles, meningitis and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Nutrition: Nutritional screening for all returnees, refugees and affected host populations and provision of appropriate nutritional support.

Protection: Identification and registration of unaccompanied children with priority given to prevention of separation and reunification; identifying, monitoring and addressing violations of children's and women's rights; birth registration; support for appropriate psycho-social services for affected individuals in host communities, refugees transit and returnee populations.

Water and Sanitation: Provision of potable water and basic sanitation for returning asylum seeking and transit populations and host communities.

3. ESTIMATED FUNDING REQUIREMENTS THROUGH DECEMBER 2003

In response to the humanitarian crisis in Côte d'Ivoire and neighboring countries, UNICEF is requesting US$ 18.8 million to provide humanitarian assistance to the targeted children and women in the six affected countries. The table below gives the sectoral as well as country breakdown of the appeal through December 2003. US$ 5.7 million are required to meet urgent humanitarian needs for the next two months in immunization, health and nutrition.

Priority needs through March 2003

PRIORITY REQUIREMENTS THROUGH MARCH 2003
Activity
Target beneficiaries
Funds required (US$)
Measles and yellow fever immunization campaign 3,500,000 children 6 months to 14 yrs
3,500,000
Response to disease outbreaks and nutritional needs and epidemiological  surveillance Conflict-affected populations
1,000,000
Procurement of emergency education supplies 340,000 primary school students
1,200,000

FUNDING REQUIREMENTS THROUGH DECEMBER 2003
Sector
Côte d’Ivoire
Burkina
Ghana
Guinea
Liberia
Mali
Total
Protection
1,530,000
283,000
75,000
350,000
213,000
300,000
2,751,000
Education
2,216,000
583,000
60000
200,000
400,000
260,000
3,719,000
Health
940,000
200,000
150,000
370,000
200,000
567,000
2,427,000
HIV
250,000
150,000
20,000
174,000
50,000
140,000
784,000
Immunization
3,400,000
150,000
115,000
252,000
200,000
95,000
4,212,000
Nutrition
1,445,000
80,000
30,000
73,000
50,000
200,000
1,878,000
WatSan
1,200,000
583,000
200,000
319,000
200,000
500,000
3,002,000
Total
10,981,000
2,029,000
650,000
1,738,000
1,313,000
2,062,000
18,773,000

Further details of the Côte d’Ivoire sub-regional emergency programme can be obtained from:

Olivier Degreef
Office of Emergency Programmes
UNICEF Geneva
Tel: + 41 22 909 5546
Fax: + 41 22 909 5902
E-mail: odegreef@unicef.org

Dan Rohrmann
Programme Funding Office
UNICEF New York
Tel: + 1 212 326 7009
Fax: + 1 212 326 7165
E-mail: drohrmann@unicef.org

Rima Salah
WCARO
UNICEF Abidjan
Tel .225-20-213131
Fax.225-20-227-607
E-mail: rsalah@unicef.org