ATLANTA (April 5, 2011) - CARE is scaling up our response to help people affected by the post-election violence in Côte d'Ivoire that has besieged the country for months.
Côte d'Ivoire has been in the grip of a political crisis since a disputed election between Laurent Gbagbo and Alassane Ouattara last year. Despite reports that the crisis might be coming to an end, fighting continues.
In recent days, fighting in the region escalated. Some 1,300 are dead. Meanwhile, more than 100,000 refugees have fled to Liberia and 5,000 have fled to Ghana. The refugees' needs consist mostly of food, clean water and sanitation services.
CARE's response in Côte d'Ivoire has focused on providing water and sanitation services to internally displaced people in the area to help to decrease the risk of cholera, typhoid, yellow fever, and malaria and other waterborne diseases. CARE distributed a two-week supply of water to over 2,300 families in Duekoue and chlorinated 125 wells in Man city. CARE has also supported garbage collection services in internally displaced camps in Man and Duekoue.
CARE is currently assessing water and sanitation services in Korogho and Bouake, where people are moving from Abidjan. Information-gathering activities are underway in Bouake to assess numbers of people passing through, how long they stay at a site before moving on and what they most need. CARE is also in discussion with the World Food Programme to distribute protein biscuits to internally displaced people at transit points in Bouake and other locations. "Things are changing rapidly but we are working to respond to the needs of the people," said Amadou Sayo, CARE's regional emergency coordinator for west and southern Africa.
In Liberia, CARE was among the first agencies to respond to the crisis, distributing emergency supplies such as hygiene kits to 9,000 refugees.
CARE has also been running hygiene promotion sessions and repairing disused wells to deal with the influx of new people in Liberia.
The number of refugees who are women and children raises concerns about their vulnerability to sexual violence. CARE is calling for more attention and funding to prevent sexual violence as part of the emergency response.
About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.
In Côte d'Ivoire, CARE's programming is mainly focused on HIV/AIDS prevention as well as urban sanitation and road maintenance. CARE Côte d'Ivoire has 80 staff based in Man, Bouake, Khorogo and Abdijan.
CARE Liberia's programming is mainly focused on food and income security, with complementary projects in women's economic empowerment, access to water, sanitation and sustainable agriculture. CARE has a total staff of 40 in Monrovia and Gbanga, in Bong County.
Atlanta: Nicole Harris, CARE, firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.404.979.9503, 1.404.735.0871