News / Africa

    Nearly 22,000 Ivorians Have Fled to Liberia

    Multimedia

    Audio
    Joe DeCapua

    Almost 22,000 people have now fled Ivory Coast for neighboring Liberia.  Most have crossed the border into Nimba County.  Refugees began leaving Ivory Coast in late November as the political crisis in their homeland worsened.

    The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) says it’s stepping up efforts to help them.

    “The influx is still going on,” says Ibrahima Coly, the UNHCR’s representative in Monrovia, Liberia, “and the flow…has been increasing.  We have at the moment an average of between 400 and 500 individuals a day.”

    Most of the new arrivals are women and children.

    “We have so far 55 percent of the caseloads who are female, but then we have 61 percent who are under 18 years old,” he says, adding, “They mentioned to us the husbands are behind taking care of the house and whatever property they have there.”

    Food and shelter

    The center of UNHCR operations is currently in Nimba County, Liberia.

    Coly says, “They are settling within the communities. They are scattered into 23 villages.  And the communities have warmly welcomed them.  Of course we know that those communities are also limited in terms of resources and also in terms of basic services, like water…sanitation …health facilities, etc.”

    U.N. agencies, NGOs and the Liberian government are providing refugees with both food and non-food items and are working to improve health and sanitation services.

    As part of food aid, the World Food Program (WFP) is providing high energy biscuits, which Coly says are “very, very good for children, for lactating mothers (and) also pregnant women.”

    The WFP says the biscuits “contain vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients along with a dose of energy, which helps give disaster victims the strength they need to steer through the crisis. In addition, because they require no cooking, they provide an immediate solution to food needs.”

    Seeking safe haven

    “The reasons they have mentioned so far – they fear their political opponents…where they were living.  They felt that their lives were threatened.  A very limited number…claimed to be beaten at a certain time of the political activities,” he says.

    Refugees also expressed fear of a repeat of the deadly violence that occurred in Ivory Coast 2002 and 2003.

    Plans are underway to construct a refugee camp in Liberia for the Ivoirians.  It would be located at least 50 kilometers from the border.  The UNHCR says the distance provides a measure of added safety.

    You May Like

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkey Islamists

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora