News / Africa

Ivory Coast Displaced Need Food, Water, Shelter

Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara prepare to attack the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, April 1, 2011
Forces loyal to the internationally recognized Ivory Coast President Alassane Ouattara prepare to attack the Presidential Palace in Abidjan, April 1, 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict in Ivory Coast, with many thousands of displaced people isolated from humanitarian aid. The International Organization for Migration [IOM] said the situation is becoming “increasingly untenable.”

IOM spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy said tens of thousands of displaced people are seeking shelter at a Catholic mission in Duekoue, western Ivory Coast.

“More people were being displaced and going towards this Catholic mission, towards the town of Duekoue, in search of security and protection and assistance, of course. We probably have more than 40,000 people now who are in and around this Catholic mission…. We also have information that some of the displaced have gone to a nearby U.N. camp in search of security and of assistance,” he said.

There are also reports that thousands of people had left Duekoue to walk to the town of Guiglo. However, Chauzy said they “apparently seem to be stranded en route and need some assistance. The group apparently includes some vulnerable people, including pregnant women. There again, we are desperate to be able to assist those displaced people in Duekoue and Guiglo, but…access to the region at the moment is incredibly difficult.”

The IOM is sending a team to the region to evaluate the situation. It will then work with U.N. agencies and NGOs to bring in emergency supplies.

Some good news, but not enough

“The good news yesterday (Thursday) evening was that water was available. It hadn’t been before, for at least 72 hours, simply because the electricity in the town [Duekoue] had been cut and therefore the water pumps were not functional within the Catholic mission. Now with electricity back, water pumps are operating and water, potable water, is now available, it seems, for those displaced,” he said.

But food is still in short supply.  The IOM says the displaced haven’t eaten for days. It estimates that 80,000 food rations are needed, along with kitchen sets.

“We also have information of people arriving with wounds, including bullet wounds, that deserve urgent medical treatment. And there again, the Salesian fathers, that are in the Catholic mission in Duekoue, are really launching an SOS to make sure that they can get the assistance they need,” he said.

Earlier this week, the IOM said the military offensive by forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara had helped drive the displacement. Ouattara was declared the winner by the U.N. of last November’s presidential election. But Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down voluntarily. Fighting and displacement soon followed.

“That was true earlier this week,” Chauzy said, “Now of course the western area of Cote d’Ivoire appears to be now under the total control of the pro-Ouattara forces. What might happen is that you have enclaves of resistance…probably again populations fearing skirmishes or ambushes.”

Abidjan

The International Organization for Migration has been helping foreign nationals leave the city. But insecurity has made that increasingly difficult.

“We did manage to evacuate about a thousand Mauritanian nationals, but obviously because of the security situation in Abidjan we have suspended the humanitarian evacuation program,” he said.

The evacuation route included traveling through the capital, Yamoussoukro, but the battle for the city has prevented the route from being used.

“We now have to see how the situation evolves in Abidjan. If calm returned to the capital, the need for an evacuation might decrease. On the contrary, if fighting continues or spreads to various quarters of Abidjan, with violence against foreign workers, that would probably trigger important movements of population and increase requests for evacuation assistance,” he said.

The IOM had been asked to evacuate over 50,000 stranded migrants from Ivory Coast to Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Mali.

The IOM spokesman adds, “We are at the moment hoping for the best case scenario, but also preparing for what could be a worst case scenario.”

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid