Côte d'Ivoire + 1 more

Trócaire helps refugees in crisis-hit West Africa

News and Press Release
Originally published

Mon, 2011-04-04 16

As 100,000 refugees arrive in Liberia from violence stricken Cote D'Ivoire, Trócaire is responding to the urgent need for food, water and shelter as the situation reaches crisis point according to Maurice McQuillan, head of Trócaire's humanitarian team.

Hundreds of thousands of people have now fled fierce fighting in Cote D'Ivoire and there are fears that this number will rise in the coming days. "Around three quarters of a million people have had to flee the violence in the past few days. Trócaire is already working in Liberia so we are supporting emergency relief efforts on the border with Cote D'Ivoire, which will see emergency food rations, hygiene kits, shelter and other essentials being provided to the refugees who are just arriving."

"Trócaire's years of experience dealing with emergencies has taught us that women, children and the elderly will be the most vulnerable in this situation and we will be making sure that they receive particular attention. These people need help now. The rainy season is due to start soon and this could severely hamper any relief efforts so we need to move fast. We fear that the crisis could further escalate very quickly if the situation in Cote D'Ivoire worsens," said Maurice McQuillan.

Fighting erupted in the capital of Cote D'Ivoire, Abidjan, when soldiers loyal to Alassane Ouattara, who won the presidential election in November last year, tried to take control of the presidential palace. Forces still loyal to former president Laurent Gbagbo claim that the election was rigged and are refusing to give ground.

Trócaire is calling on the United Nations to protect civilians in Cote D'Ivoire and says that the international community must support the Economic Community of West African States in it's central role in brokering a peaceful solution.