News / Africa

Aid Agency Calls For Urgent Funding For Ivorian Refugees In Liberia

Multimedia

Audio
Douglas Mpuga

As fighting continues in the Ivory Coast commercial capital Abidjan between fighters backing Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast's internationally-recognized president, and soldiers still loyal to the incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo who is refusing to step down, thousands of refugees are pouring into neighboring countries.

Humanitarian aid agencies are warning that time is running out to get help to neglected refugees fleeing the once prosperous West African nation.

“More than 100,000 people have already crossed the border from Ivory Coast to Liberia, twenty thousand in the last week alone,” said Caroline Gluck, the humanitarian press officer of the aid agency OXFAM.

Most of these people, she said, “are living in difficult to access remote border villages.  It is quite a challenge to get to these areas.”

Gluck who has just been to the border areas said the refugees are living in dire conditions in border villages. “The rainy season begins next month and the rains have already started. We tried to take in water to help the community which has doubled in size because of the refugee influx and the truck overturned because the road is in such a bad condition. So it is really quite a challenge getting help to the refugees.”

She appealed to the refugees to move a little bit inland so that they can be helped in larger centers more effectively and easily.

“So far there is no sign that has happened. Unless more is done to get people to safe and serviced areas further inland, they risk being cut off as the rainy season approaches.”

Gluck said many families were separated during the conflict and there are many mothers with their young children who are separated from their husbands or young children who fled on their own without parents.

She said although the United Nations has built a camp in one town that can hold nearly 20,000 people only 2500 people are living there at the moment.

“That is partly because a lot of these refugees prefer to live near the border,” she explained, “because they think it is easier to move back across the border when things return to normal.”

“There has also been a campaign of disinformation by some villagers who are telling the refugees that if they go to the camps terrible things will happen to them,” she added.

“Some villagers think if the refuges stay with them they will get more help too.”

Gluck, however, commended Liberians for their generosity to the refugees, saying many had opened their homes; they are hosting refugees, providing food and even clothes.  

“But generally these are poor subsistence farmers who have very little themselves,” she said.

Gluck noted that the emergency plan that has been drawn by the United Nations and others to help people in Liberia and Ivory Coast is still under 50 percent funded so there is a critical need for funding.

That funding, she said, “needs to come now because everyday thousands of refugees are coming over. Also when donors make commitments it takes a while for aid to get dispersed into aid on the ground.”

You May Like

At International AIDS Conference One Goal, Many Paths

The 12,000 delegates attending 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne have vastly different visions about how to eradicate disease More

Disasters May Doom Malaysia’s Flag Carrier

Even before loss of two jets loaded with passengers on international flights, company had been operating in red for three years, accumulating deficit of $1.3 billion More

Afghan Presidential Vote Audit Continues Despite Glitches

Process has been marred by walkouts by representatives of two competing candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid