Côte d'Ivoire

Humanitarian emergency in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

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Originally published

Clichy, April 10th 2011

The fighting and insecurity which prevail in Abidjan have provoked a major humanitarian crisis. In this emergency context, SOLIDARITES INTERNATIONAL is providing aid and assistance to the victims of violence in the capital, but also the refugees from Ivory Coast in Liberia.

More than a million inhabitants have already fled the capital. Food supplies are almost inaccessible. The shortage of drinking water threatens to provoke a cholera epidemic. Power cuts plunge whole districts into darkness and heighten insecurity. The population is urgently in need of help.

Our emergency team is operating in these extremely dangerous and difficult conditions. “We are providing water and sanitation assistance in a health center run by a medical NGO which treats the wounded in the district of Abobo,” explains Benoît-Xavier Loridon, our Head of Mission. “Everywhere, the population is in dire need of drinking water and foodstuffs.”

Given the uncertain outcome of the current situation, SOLIDARITIES INTERNATIONAL will rapidly reinforce our presence in Abidjan, as well as on the Daloa-San Pedro axis, where large numbers of displaced persons are concentrated. We will immediately begin distributing water supply and hygiene equipment. We also plan to distribute foodstuffs and items that meet essential needs. At the same time, we plan to strengthen our teams in Liberia. They are currently managing a transit camp of 2 000 refugees and undertaking emergency water distribution and the construction of latrines in a border village where some 3 000 refugees are concentrated. “125 000 persons have already crossed the border. And this number is only increasing,” warns Claire Bouzigues, our Head of Mission in Liberia. “In a single day, 5 000 refugees arrived in Maryland. They were followed by some 12 000 others.

Exhausted after several days of walking, they gather in temporary camps and drink the unsafe water they find. It is imperative that we take action, especially given the inadequacy of international assistance.”

“For days and days, we’ve been seeing televised images of violence, fear, population movement, destitution, hunger, thirst, but also hope. We are well aware of what is going on. In this context, it is a question of acting quickly and efficiently to compensate for the lack of anticipation and international coordination,” says Alain Boinet, director of SOLIDARITIES INTERNATIONAL, who has issued an appeal for donations to finance the intensification of emergency humanitarian aid.

PRESS CONTACTS

France : Renaud Douci, Press Relations Manager - +33 1 80 21 05 94

Ivory Coast : Benoît-Xavier Loridon, Head of Mission - + 225 44 96

Liberia : Claire Bouzigues, Head of Mission - + 231 6 53 17 06