News / Africa

Ivory Coast: New Camp to Shelter Thousands of Displaced

Multimedia

Audio
Joe DeCapua

In western Ivory Coast, ground clearing is underway for a new camp for thousands of people displaced by the country’s political violence and turmoil.

The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR), says humanitarian conditions in the region have deteriorated due to a shortage of shelter.

Spokesperson Helene Caux, who’s in Ivory Coast, says, “Right now, we are clearing a site to be able to relieve the Catholic mission in Duekoue, which is an area where most of the displaced people are.  You have about 23,000 displaced people in this area.  And in total in the west of Cote d’Ivoire, you have almost 39,000 people, who have been displaced since the end of November, actually, following the elections, the presidential elections.”

Once built, the new camp is expected to provide shelter for about 6,000 people.

Caux says the “most vulnerable people” will be brought there first.

Host families

“We are also looking for other sites to be able to accommodate more people,” she says, adding, “Of course, you don’t only have people staying in religious institutions.  But a lot of people are also staying (with) host families.  And it’s also putting a lot of burden on these families, who are usually paying for the food, their condition, the clothes,” she says.

Most of the IDPs (internally displaced persons) in western Ivory Coast are staying with host families who are relatives.

“Some families are hosting up to 25 people in their homes, so it’s quite a burden.  And at the same time, of course, the solidarity is quite important for all these people and host families don’t want to kick them out of their homes,” says Caux.

Abuse

The UNHCR reports “some IDPs in the west have reported physical and sexual violence, as well as arbitrary detention by armed groups acting with impunity.  Fear of retaliation combined with the absence of paralysis of the judicial institutions has prevented many people from reporting such abuses.”

“So,” Caux says, “the victims are left very much by themselves and they do not report their abuses.”

Crossing the border

Many Ivoirians have crossed the border into neighboring Liberia.

“In Liberia, the UNHCR is also about to open a camp.  You have about 36,000 people, who have crossed over from Cote d’Ivoire.  It’s a huge number,” she says.

If the political situation fails to improve, the UNHCR expects more Ivoirians to cross into Liberia.  Currently, many displaced Ivoirians have settled very near the border, ready to cross at a moment’s notice.

The UNHCR says “civilians remain traumatized by the recent troubles, which many see as reminiscent of the civil conflict of 2002.”

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
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.

AppleAndroid