News / Africa

    UN: Ivory Coast Needs More Humanitarian Aid

    A worker looks at the stock of medicine in the Pharmacie de la Sante Publique (Public Health Medicine) warehouse in Abidjan, March 17, 2011
    A worker looks at the stock of medicine in the Pharmacie de la Sante Publique (Public Health Medicine) warehouse in Abidjan, March 17, 2011

    The United Nations says it needs more money to help civilians displaced by Ivory Coast's political crisis as government troops fired mortars into a city market, killing at least 25 people. The Ivory Coast's incumbent president is expected to address the nation about African Union calls that he step down in favor of the internationally-recognized winner of November's vote.

    The United Nations says at least 25 people were killed and 40 others wounded when troops loyal to incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo fired mortars into a market in the commercial capital Abidjan. The market is in a neighborhood held by fighters loyal to the U.N.-certified winner of the presidential vote, former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara.

    Political crisis

    More than 430 civilians have now been killed since December as the political crisis escalates. U.N. officials say that violence has sent more than 75,000 refugees across the border into Liberia and displaced another 45,000 civilians in western provinces, where rebels backing Ouattara are fighting government troops still loyal to  Gbagbo.

    With more than 300,000 people displaced in Abidjan, the humanitarian coordinator for U.N. operations in Ivory Coast, Ndolamb Ngokwey, says the situation is deteriorating rapidly.

    "The humanitarian crisis in Cote d'Ivoire is very serious and it is getting worse. It is getting worse if you consider for example that from December until now, we have about a 10-fold increase in the number of displaced people. The humanitarian crisis is also getting serious and worse because it is actually going beyond the displacement. Beyond displacement we have a wide impact on a wide segment of the population," Ngokwey said.

    Ngokwey says U.N. agencies need more money to cope with the growing number of refugees and internally displaced civilians.

    "With the increased violence the last 10 days, we are beginning to see more challenges in terms of having access to those vulnerable population and also we are facing a new challenge which is that the social infrastructure which was supposed to respond to the humanitarian crisis, is itself very weak,” Ngokwey said. “And finally, additional funding is needed so that the magnitude and scale of this crisis can be dealt with.”"

    Refugees

    The first waves of Ivorian refugees are living with Liberian families, but the new arrivals are too many for local communities to absorb say Moustapha Soumare, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Liberia.

    “Last week only, in three days, we got more than 40,000 refugees that has come because of the war close to the border and that has changed completely our approach,” Soumare said. “Because that is not [there aren’t] anymore contingency, we have to actually have a kind of response to that. And that's why now we are on the second, really, flash-appeal so that we can really get the resources to support that," Soumare explains.

    Humanitarian aid

    Without a solution to the political crisis, Ngokwey says the humanitarian crisis will only grow worse. "As long as this situation is not solved, as long as there is a political impasse with the radicalization of positions and an increase in violence even reaching not only the outskirts of Abidjan, but the heart of the city itself, as long as we have this, the impact is the humanitarian crisis,” Ngokwey said. “So as a humanitarian community, this is our concern and we really hope that the international community, in the face of the suffering of the women and children of Cote d'Ivoire, will be able to provide the needed assistance to those people, while at other levels the political issues are being discussed."

    Ivory Coast's political issues have been discussed by a host of mediators, most recently African Union heads of state who last week endorsed Ouattara as the country's duly-elected leader.

    Ouattara is now offering Gbagbo a national unity government, a truth and reconciliation commission, and unified armed forces in what he says is the incumbent president's last chance to resolve the crisis peacefully.  Gbagbo is expected to make a nationwide address Friday giving his response to calls that he step down.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora