On Sunday, 2 February, Ms. McAskie visited locations where some of the 70,000 people who have fled into Liberia from Cote d'Ivoire are staying. Ms. McAskie went there to hear displaced persons' stories so she could bring their suffering to the attention of the United Nations and the world.
Ms. McAskie spoke with refugees at the Karnply Transit Centre, which is near the Ivorian border. She also met with people staying at a newly established refugee camp at Seclapea, which is in a safer location, farther away from the border. The UN estimates that some 30,000 of the 70,000 people who have fled Cote d'Ivoire since Septemberare Ivorian refugees and the others are Liberian migrant workers and third country nationals.
The recent intensification of fighting along the Guinean-Ivorian border has led to a noticeable increase in the number of Ivorians seeking refuge in Liberia. The UN and its non-governmental partners have so far been able to provide many refugees and returnees with basic assistance, including food, medical care and shelter. However, humanitarian agencies are finding it progressively difficult to provide the growing number of people in need with food, water, and sanitation. Poor road conditions exacerbate the problems in delivering relief supplies.
The influx of refugees and returnees has further worsened the living conditions of local communities along the border, themselves recovering from the effects of Liberia's civil conflict. Prices of staple food commodities like rice and cassava have more than doubled. Transportation costs have become exorbitent as fuel prices have skyrocketed. The host communities continue to share their recent harvest with the displaced, though this will further deplete their resource base and jeopardize coping mechanisms.
Later today, Ms. McAskie will arrive in Guinea, where she will be looking at the impact the crisis in Cote d'Ivoire is having on that country.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.