The United States announced Wednesday an additional pledge of $7.5 million in humanitarian assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.
With this latest funding, the U.S. is providing over $51 million in humanitarian assistance to refugees, IDPs, and other conflict-affected populations in the region.
The Côte d’Ivoire political crisis turned violent after the run-off presidential election between victor Ouattara and incumbent Gbagbo in late November 2010 and uprooted hundreds of thousands of Ivoirians. More than 210,000 refugees fled from Côte d’Ivoire – most to Liberia; up to a million were displaced inside Côte d’Ivoire; and thousands of nationals of neighboring countries fled as well. The situation in Côte d’Ivoire is improving; but some continuing unrest is still generating new refugees, and fear among those who fled keeps a majority of refugees from returning home at present. Up to an estimated 500,000 remain internally displaced.
This latest U.S. contribution includes $6.5 million in support for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and $1 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). This assistance will help provide basic life support such as food, health care, and essential household items; the construction and maintenance of camps where needed; increasing access to clean water; and will support efforts to restore family links severed as a result of displacement.
The United States, through the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, has provided more than $28 million for humanitarian response in Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, and other neighboring countries since March 2011. The U.S. Agency for International Development has also provided almost $23 million in funding and food aid to non-governmental organizations and UN agencies in Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia.