· Security in Côte d’Ivoire is gradually improving, resulting in increased humanitarian access, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On May 4, fighting between the Republican Forces of Côte d'Ivoire and militants loyal to former President Laurent Gbagbo in the neighborhood of Yopougon in western Abidjan stopped, ending more than 20 days of clashes that resulted in at least 70 deaths, according to international media.
· Despite the stabilizing security situation, OCHA and UNHCR have expressed concern that the high number of armed checkpoints within Abidjan and along major roads throughout Côte d’Ivoire may deter internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees from returning to the country. In addition, armed combatants in parts of Abidjan and the Dix-Huit Montagnes and Moyen-Cavally regions in the west continue to cause insecurity. Refugees and IDPs cite security as a major factor in deciding whether to return to areas of origin in Côte d’Ivoire.
· Simultaneous displacement and returns are occurring in western Côte d'Ivoire and eastern Liberia, inhibiting efforts to determine the actual number of refugees and returnees, according to OCHA. Humanitarian agencies have reported that many returnees to western Côte d'Ivoire lack food and other essential items due to looting of their houses and grain stores during their absence.
· To date, donors have committed or contributed nearly $36 million—or 22 percent—of the approximately $160 million requested by the U.N. Regional Emergency Humanitarian Action Plan (EHAP) for Côte d’Ivoire and neighboring countries. The U.N. EHAP for Liberia is 41 percent funded, with donors providing more than $59 million out of the nearly $147 million requested. Additionally, donors have contributed more than $32 million to Côte d’Ivoire and more than $58 million to Liberia to support humanitarian activities outside of the EHAPs.