News / Africa

Abidjan Food Stocks Looted

A woman holds bags of rice at a market in Abidjan on April 14, 2011
A woman holds bags of rice at a market in Abidjan on April 14, 2011
Lisa Schlein

The World Food Program reports its warehouse in Ivory Coast’s commercial capital, Abidjan has been looted over the past week.  WFP says its entire stock has been completely wiped out, leaving tens of thousands of people without food aid.

WFP country director in Ivory Coast, Alain Cordell, says the food stocks cannot be replenished because the port is closed and insecurity discourages transport by road.  

On top of that, he tells VOA, people have no cash to buy food, which probably explains the extensive looting that has been going on.

"The problem of Abidjan is given that we have lost all these stocks that we had pre-positioned in this warehouse that has been burnt and lost, we have now to bring the food by airlift in order to be quick," Cordell said. "It could have been possible to bring it  by road, but bringing food by road from Mali takes a minimum of  two weeks-time to have the contract made before tenders and so on, and then effective transportation and so on takes a bit of time."

Cordell says WFP does not have this time.  He says the population is suffering and needs to receive food aid now.  The quickest way to do this, he says, is to airlift the food into Abidjan. 

Cordell says WFP lost 3,000 metric tons of food, worth about $3 million.  This was enough to feed 140,000 people for one month.  He says WFP needs to urgently airlift a minimum of 1,000 tons of cereal into Abidjan.

Unfortunately, he says it might take about 10 days before the airlift can begin.

"At that very moment, we will be able to provide this food that will be this time stored in a place that is a kind of safe haven, protected by the military, so it is not looted again," Cordell said. "And we will provide that to our partners, local partners, NGO’s, for instance, to provide that and to distribute that to the IDP’s (Internally Displaced People) in Abidjan.  I think that is the best solution for the time being."  

Cordell says a minimum of 70,000 people in Abidjan need to be fed and that number climbs to around 240,000 people for the whole country.

He says WFP will need a minimum of $38 million to carry out its humanitarian operations over the next six-months.  Cordell expects the crisis in Ivory Coast will go on for a very long time.  

He adds he hopes the international community will continue to support the humanitarian needs of the people after the images of devastation and desperation have disappeared from the world’s television screens.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid