The post electoral crisis in Côte d’Ivoire continues to have implications also in neighbouring Liberia. In a few weeks, the Danish Refugee Council has completed the construction of an emergency settlement for Ivorian refugees in Harper in the south of Liberia.
For thousands of Ivorian people the conflict in Côte d’Ivoire is far from over. Despite the former president Gbagbo having stepped back, the country is yet too insecure to return to for large groups of Ivorian communities. For months these communities have been seeking refuge in Liberia and have been hosted by Liberian villages along the border between the two countries. With the local host communities struggling to meet the needs of the many refugees, the Danish Refugee Council has been requested to establish and run a refugee camp
“The world media has already turned its attention to a new conflict, and Côte d’Ivoire is soon forgotten in many people’s minds. But the crisis is far from over. In Liberia, resources of the host communities are exhausted since months of struggles to survive with more than 150.000 refugees from Côte d’Ivoire,” says Elsa Moreno, programme coordinator with the Danish Refugee Council.
Though some have returned to Côte d’Ivoire the majority of the refugees are still in Liberia. To be able to continue supporting those who do not feel safe to come back, further resources are needed.
The new camp in Harper in South Liberia will initially be able to host up to 5,000 people, and if need to be extended to host up to 15,000 refugees. The initial agreement with UNHCR was to complete the refugee camp in May, but given the dire humanitarian situation at the existing emergency shelter, the Danish Refugee Council has put strong effort into completing the camp in only two weeks.