- The United Nations Secretary General appointed Humanitarian Envoy for the Cote d'Ivoire Crisis, Ms. Carolyn Mc Askie, "Deputy Relief Emergency Coordinator of OCHA", has visited the west african sub-region including Cote d' Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana to assess the nature and scale of humanitarian crisis, review co-ordination and preparedness structures, and recommend immediate measures necessary to avert further humanitarian disaster;
- UNHCR has deployed a staff member from Dakar on mission to Mali to evaluate the situation of the impact of the Cote d' Ivoire crisis on Mali.
II POLITICAL AND SECURITY DEVELOPMENTS
The Government of Mali made 400 million FCFA available for the voluntary return of its nationals from Ivory Coast, according to the Ministry of Security and the Civil Society. Some 45,000 returnees (35,346 through Sikasso, and over 10,000 through Manankoro and Kouremale the Mali/Guinea borders) have returned since the inception of the crisis in Cote d' Ivoire.
Faso Danbe, a National Association for Solidarity with Malian returnees from Cote d'Ivoire, mobilised more than 84 million FCFA for the assistance of evacuees from Cote d'Ivoire.
Free food distribution has started at the end of 2002 as the ongoing drought and significant food insecurity in the North of Mali continues to be of concern. In order to mobilise stocks and facilitate the necessary provisions of the populations, 200 millions FCFA were mobilised from the Fund of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC). The money is used for the installation and the strengthening of cereal banks throughout the country.
The Malian president, Amadou Tomani Toure, participated in the "Franco- African Summit " from 15th to 24th February 2003 in Paris.
The Malian authorities keep on strengthening their borders night patrols and additional security has been put in place around Bamako.
Miss Carolyn McAskie, OCHA's Deputy Emergency Relief Co-ordinator, arrived in Abidjan the 16th January 2003 and toured those adjacent countries that are affected by the crisis (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, Liberia) until the 10th of February. On Sunday 9 February, Ms. McAskie traveled to the southern region of Sikasso, which is the main entry point for Ivorian refugees, Malian returnees, and third country nationals fleeing the crisis in Côte d'Ivoire. Her three-day visit also included meetings with the international donor community, whom she called on to fund humanitarian programmes, in particular the safe transport of third country nationals. In that regard, the UN Envoy welcomed the transportation provided by the Government of Mali to their nationals trapped at the border between Liberia and Guinea.
Poul NIELSON, the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, and Dr. Mohammed Ibn CHAMBAS, Executive Secretary of ECOWAS, have signed an agreement worth 500.000 Euros for the mediation of the crisis in Cote d' Ivoire.
The United States reaffirmed their support in the search for a peaceful solution and called on all parties to work with ECOWAS to resolve the crisis. They have recently released 11 million USD for support to refugees in the West Africa Region.
According to the authorities, more than 45,000 people have crossed into Mali since 19 September to 10/02/03, including some 2,500 Ivorian refugees. In addition to Loulouni and Zegoua, refugee camps have been established in the towns of Faragouaran, Kadiana, and Manankoro. The town of Zegoua, which used to be a heavy commercial transit point between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali, has come to a standstill with a high cost to local trade and transport companies.
Refugee Care and maintenance
Humanitarian organizations such as the ISLAMIC RELIEF (U.K. ) and WFP are engaged in delivering aid to refugees. UNHCR reaffirmed its availability to ensure protection of all Ivorians seeking asylum and to recognise refugees from Cote d'Ivoire fleeing the conflict.
WFP and the ISLAMIC RELIEF (U.K.) distributed food to the refugees for a total amount of 9.387 275 FCFA. These two organizations respectively provided 53 and 47% of the total general food assistance to the refugees in the camps of Loulouni, Sikasso and Faragouaran. Additional food assistance to the refugees comes from other organizations like CARE Mali, the Malian Red Cross and the "Association Mondiale pour l'Appel Islamique".
UNHCR has obtained the assistance of French and the ECOWAS troops to carry out transport of persons or goods within rebel controlled areas and across the borders into Mali, Ghana, Guinea and Burkina Faso.
1484 Men from the Ivory Coast left Sikasso :
The repatriation of the executives, soldiers and paramilitary men of the Ivory Coast previously solicited and stopped to the 14th flight since November 11, 2002, began again on February 22nd , Saturday. This 15th flight by Fokker28 which embarked 50 Ivorians, changed to 1484 the number of refugees who left Mali. Officially it remains about it, at the date of 25 Fevrier 2003, 283 Ivorian refugees in Mali divided 195 in Faragouaran; 90 on the site of Loulouni and 38 in the Center of Sikasso. In all, the Ambassador of the Cote d'Ivoire in Mali estimated the number of Ivorian refugees in Sikasso to 2500 on the whole.
Loulouni Camp Situation on the 10/02/,2003
WHO has provided counter vaccine against vipers bite, the Catholic Church and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) have offered clothes to children and UNICEF solved the access problem to water: As regards to education, several schools opened their doors to the refugee children in Loulouni, leading to a situation where over 150 children are sometimes taught in one class. But with the partial move of refugees to Faragouaran ( about 177 refugees), this situation has changed.
As regards the health sector, 16 cases of STDs have been treated in camp. Condoms have been distributed by the HIV/AIDs group but more than 80,000 still need to be distributed, as well as female condoms requested by women.
The Minister of Territorial Administration and Local Communities asked UNHCR to make provisions for transfers from Loulouni camp and to take the responsibility of the Ivorian refugees (556) in the Faragouaran transit Center , situated some 200 km from Bamako.
Faragouaran, with a capacity of 300 people, is managed jointly by the CNCR (Comité National Chargé des Refugiés) and by AAVNU (Association des Anciens Volontaires des Nations-Unies). UNHCR and UNICEF currently struggle to meet the conditions necessary for the relocation of the refugees to the new camp of Faragouaran. Among these needs are the acquisition of water tanks, the acquisition of a mill for cereal and the provision of electricity.
Distribution Situation of Ivorian Refugees, Date of 10/02/03
Some of the host communities have started to complain that refugees are better treated by the international community than the hosts who are also suffering from chronic poverty.
Coordination and capacity building
The main focus points are:
- The sub regional humanitarian coordination ;
- The need to reinforce political initiatives of the sub-regional level,
- The finalization of the contingency plan
- The revision of the consolidated appeals process document
The establishment of an information system that disseminates pertinent information in a timely and appropriate manner to different target groups has to be operationalised. Improved data collection for the purpose of appropriate humanitarian response should be the result of applying a new report format developed.
Information is shared in country through already existing mechanisms such as the sector groups, the UNCT and the stakeholder meetings.
According to UNHCR , the organisation will benefit from the set up of a Humanitarian Information Centre (HIC) in Abidjan, including a database to monitor and provide information on population movements by categories in each country, the resources needed, allocated and used; mapping and VAM and at last, logistics.
Collaboration with African Regional organisations such as ECOWAS (Economic Community of West Africa), SADC (Southern African Development Community), PTA (Preferential Trade Area), MAU (Maghreb Arab Union) and the ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) as well as capacity building initiatives aiming at the empowerment of civil society could be assisting in developing a long term conflict prevention approach.
The Irish Government has funded OCHA's activities in West Africa with 500,000 Euros, which have been allocated to assist coordination efforts in Cote d' Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana.
Related documents and links
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