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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More