WFP Press Briefing - Abidjan
Despite the steady deterioration of the humanitarian situation and serious funding shortages, WFP is continuing its food deliveries in crisis-hit Cote d'Ivoire.
In Jan and Feb, over 120,000 people will receive emergency food rations in a country split by civil conflict between pro- and anti-government forces.
Most of the beneficiaries will be children and women displaced by insecurity in Bouake and surrounding areas, where 60 percent of families have no income. The remainder have lost 80 percent of their purchasing power.
However, without urgent contributions, WFP operations in the region face a pipeline break in February.
To date, donations to the agency's regional operation have only covered 30 percent of the US$6.6 million appeal, with contributions only confirmed from Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
The operation, which covers Cote d'Ivoire and neighbouring countries, in particular Burkina Faso, Guinea and Liberia, aims to help 170,000 people for an initial period of six months (Nov 2002-March 2003).
TRACKING IDPS AND REFUGEES
The worsening humanitarian situation is undermining efforts to track the movement of internally displaced persons and refugees. Recent reports show that:
400,000 people have fled the central and northern regions towards the south.
60,000 to 100,000 people have fled the Man region and sought refuge in cities like Daloa, Duekoue, Bouafle and Issia.
140,000, mainly west African migrant workers, have crossed the border into Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, and Mali.
In western Cote d'Ivoire, large numbers of Ivorians and Liberians, sheltering from their own country's civil war, have crossed the border into Liberia. To date, over 53,000 people, including 14,000 Ivorians, have fled into Liberia.
The influx is creating a second emergency in Liberia, where 185,000 people have already fled a persistent internal conflict.
Cote d'Ivoire's western region is host to tens of thousands of refugees from Liberia's war.
Now, there are serious concerns that these refugees, particularly those residing in the Nicla refugee camp (population currently 5,000) near the town of Guiglo, are at great risk of being targeted by insurgents.
There are also reports of Liberian refugees being recruited by both the Ivorian regular army and insurgents. It is critical to relocate the Liberian refugees from the western region to a safer area in Cote d'Ivoire or to a third country.
This is a summary of what was said by WFP spokesperson Ramin Rafirasme - to whom quoted text may be attributed - at the press briefing, on 9 January 2003, at Abidjan in Cote d'Ivoire
Cote d'Ivoire: emergency school feeding
School age children in rebel-held Cote d'Ivoire are unable to attend school
There are no funds arriving to run the schools and most have been closed The Government is making provisions for a second school year to start in January 2003, which would allow displaced children in government-held areas to return to school
Further to a request from the Minister of Education, WFP will embark on a school feeding programme targeting 41,000 displaced children in insurgent-held zones The programme will give children the opportunity to be enrolled in schools in government-held areas
As an incentive to keep their children at school, some households will receive food aid on a monthly basis for an initial three month period
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