Emergency Appeal: Liberia/Ivory Coast refugees humanitarian crisis

The current political crisis in Cote d'Ivoire is affecting a number of the country's neighbors, including Liberia. Between 30,000 and 50,000 Cote d'Ivoire refugees, as well as 25,000 Liberians living in Cote d'Ivoire, have entered or returned to Liberia recently, creating pressures for Liberian authorities and for host communities that have little ability to absorb them.

APPEAL # 642-J
AMOUNT: $50,000

Situation:

The current political crisis in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), which centers on a standoff over whether President Laurent Gbagbo should hand over power to Alassane Ouattara following a November presidential election, is affecting a number of the country's neighbors, including Liberia.  Some say Cote d’Ivoire is on the verge of civil war – and this following a decade of internal conflict, war, violence and human rights violations within the country.

Between 30,000 and 50,000 Cote d’Ivoire refugees – as well as 25,000 Liberians living in Cote d’Ivoire – have entered or returned to Liberia recently, creating pressures for Liberian authorities and for host communities that have little ability to absorb them.  Among the areas affected: Liberia's Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland counties.  There is reportedly limited food, shelter and water and sanitation facilities for the arrivals, say humanitarian workers.

CWS response:

CWS is supporting efforts by long-time Liberia-based partner, Concerned Christian Community, which is responding in the border towns of Nimba County, the areas where the bulk of refugees are being registered.  CCC is establishing a field office in Ganta, Nimba County, from where emergency relief humanitarian assistance will be forwarded to camps and distributed to those needing assistance.

Specifically, in what is seen as an initial six-month program, CCC is providing:

  • immediate food and non-food item emergency relief assistance to 2,000-3,000 vulnerable families;
  • trauma counseling and HIV/AIDS awareness services to more than 500 women and girls;
  • emergency mobile medical services to the refugees;
  • and limited water and sanitation assistance through the construction of hand pumps and emergency latrines.

How to help

Contributions to support the emergency response work of Church World Service may be made online or by phone (800.297.1516), or may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

ACT Alliance  Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Media Contact:
Lesley Crosson, 212-870-2676, lcrosson@churchworldservice.org
Jan Dragin, 781-925-1526, jdragin@gis.net


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