Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire: Swiss humanitarian aid - helping to prevent migration

News and Press Release
Originally published
Swiss aid for the victims of the crisis in the Côte d'Ivoire
Since the outbreak of the crisis in the Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), the SDC has allocated SFr. 1.5 million in emergency aid for victims of the conflict. Administered by the ICRC and the World Food Programme (WFP) among others, the aid is making a positive contribution to stemming migration movements.

Joachim Ahrens. Some 200,000 people were displaced following the attempted coup in September. The humanitarian consequences of this conflict are dramatic: important basic infrastructure in the heart of the country was destroyed, and people no longer have access to social services. In particular there is a general lack of medicines, clean drinking water, food and minimum healthcare. The international community is providing emergency aid for those affected as far as the security situation permits. The SDC is supporting the emergency aid efforts of the ICRC and has allocated SFr. 500,000 to the WFP for food aid.

Crisis for the entire region

The Côte d'Ivoire crisis threatens wide-ranging humanitarian consequences for the entire region. Approximately one-third of the population of the Côte d'Ivoire consists of foreign workers from neighbouring countries who live primarily in the (predominantly Muslim) cocoa and coffee-growing north of the country. There is a very real possibility of a sudden flow of immigrants back to their countries of origin.

To address this potential risk, preventive measures must be implemented in the Côte d'Ivoire as well as its neighbouring countries. The aim is to prevent migration by improving living conditions within the Côte d'Ivoire or, if possible, contain it within the region. The SDC can provide assistance via its coordination offices and via Swiss embassies in West Africa. It can also provide personnel: an expert from the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit (SHA) has been seconded to the SDC coordination office in Burkina Faso to aid the national crisis team and humanitarian organisations in planning transit centres and drinking water supplies. Additional experts are on standby.