Ms. McAskie departed this morning for a two-day tour of northern and western areas of Côte d'Ivoire. Today she will visit Yamoussoukro, where she will meet with the humanitarian community and visit an IDP transit centre as well as meet with the local authorities, and Bouake, where she will meet with rebel group MPCI to impress on them the need to sustain their policy of allowing safe and unhindered access to those providing humanitarian relief. She will also visit a UNICEF-run center for abandoned children and victims of the conflict in Bouake.
Tomorrow the Humanitarian Envoy of UNSG Kofi Annan is scheduled to travel to the town of Guiglo in the west, where she will meet with local authorities, humanitarian actors and also visit Liberian refugees at the UNHCR refugee camp of NICLA, the only refugee camp in Côte d'Ivoire , with a current population of 7,302. She will then continue on to the town of Daloa before returning to Abidjan in the late afternoon.
The scale of displacement in Côte d'Ivoire is massive and increasing rapidly. Out of a population of 16 million, an estimated 600,000 were displaced internally by the end of November, according to an update issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Fighting in the west has since forced the displacement of perhaps an additional 500,000. The total number of IDPs topped 1.1 million by the beginning of January. In addition, over 23,000 Ivorian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, and more than 120,000 third-country nationals are retuning home to neighbouring Liberia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ghana.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.