News / Africa

UNICEF Appeals for Children and Women in Ivory Coast

A boy from the ethnic Guere grinds rice near his mother at Fengolo, a village in western Ivory Coast (File Photo).
A boy from the ethnic Guere grinds rice near his mother at Fengolo, a village in western Ivory Coast (File Photo).

The United Nations Children’s Fund is appealing for more than $20 million to provide life-saving assistance to tens of thousands of children and women affected by the post-election crisis in the Ivory Coast and five neighboring countries.  The funds will support humanitarian operations in the region over the next three months.

The United Nations says the political and humanitarian crises unfolding in the Ivory Coast are expected to affect nearly 2,5 million people.

This includes some 450,000 internally displaced people in the Ivory Coast and another 150,000 people who are expected to move to five neighboring countries.  Some 23,000 refugees have already fled to Liberia.   

But, the United Nations warns thousands of other Ivorians are likely to seek asylum in neighboring Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana if the situation worsens and civil war erupts again in the Ivory Coast.

The UN Children’s Fund says clean water, shelter and food are the most pressing needs for internally displaced people, refugees and host community members.  This is in addition to protection, health and education services.  

UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado says the agency’s priority is to make sure children get access to clean drinking water, sanitation, adequate nutrition and health care.

"Our main concerns are the ability to respond to disease outbreaks through vaccination campaigns.  There are currently measles, meningitis and yellow fever epidemics in the region right now," she said.  "Access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities, adequate nutrition for communities faced with food price hikes.  And that hospitals, clinics and medical treatment are available and that children are protected and not involved in the disturbances."  

Mercado says UNICEF is working with other agencies to provide education, household items, water and sanitation for those who have crossed the border into Liberia.  She says it is prepared to do the same should people cross borders into other neighboring countries.

UNICEF estimates 40 percent of the affected population in the Ivory Coast will be in the North, a region already weakened by a decade of instability.

As in all conflict situations, children suffer the most.  Latest data from a survey carried out last year in eight regions of the north and west indicate 12 percent of children suffer from acute malnutrition.

Another issue of great concern is protection.  UNICEF says women and children are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, prostitution, and labor exploitation in areas of conflict.

Should fighting break out in Ivory Coast, UNICEF warns many children are likely to be separated from their families and recruited as soldiers.


You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid