Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs commented, “The humanitarian situation in Côte d’Ivoire is getting worse every day. In response to this, Norway is providing an additional NOK 30 million in emergency assistance.”
There is heavy fighting and widespread looting in Abidjan and the western parts of the country. As a result, nearly one million people are internally displaced, and more than 150 000 refugees have crossed the border to Liberia and other neighbouring countries. According to the UN’s latest figures, the flow of refugees could rapidly rise to 500 000 given current developments.
“Protection of civilians is the greatest challenge in Côte d’Ivoire. Aid organisations have little access to the people who are suffering as a result of this prolonged conflict. These new funds will strengthen the UN and Red Cross efforts to meet the most immediate humanitarian needs of the civilian population in Côte d’Ivoire and its neighbouring countries,” said Mr Støre.
This increase brings Norway’s total emergency assistance to Côte d’Ivoire up to NOK 60 million. These funds have been channelled through the Norwegian Refugee Council, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the World Food Programme and UNICEF. The money is used directly for the protection of civilians, medical assistance, food aid, and nutrition programmes for internally displaced persons in Côte d’Ivoire and refugees in the neighbouring countries.
Norway is also allocating funds for UN humanitarian activities in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).