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The European Commission boosts humanitarian aid for victims of Côte d'Ivoire crisis

Residents flee after clashes between soldiers and partisans of Alassane Ouattara © Belga/STRINGER
17/03/2011  - 

With the crisis in the Côte d'Ivoire worsening by the day, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva announced a five-fold increase in EU humanitarian aid to the victims of mounting violence. Topping up the emergency assistance allocated in December, the European Commission will now provide another €25 million, raising its support to €30 million. The assistance targets Ivorians in humanitarian need inside their country, as well as the refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries – particularly то Liberia. Thе new funding will help ease their hardship by providing shelter, food assistance, healthcare, water and sanitation, and protection.

"The situation is rapidly deteriorating on the ground – in just a few weeks, the number of refugees has doubled and the number of displaced people has increased five-fold. This calls for an urgent and strong humanitarian response. Today's increase in aid will allow us to provide immediate relief to these people, many of whom have fled unspeakable violence," Commissioner Georgieva said.

By international estimates, over 380 000 Ivoirians have been driven from their homes by the violence that has engulfed the Côte d'Ivoire since mid-December; around 80 000 of them have fled to seek refuge in neighbouring countries. The urgent needs of the locally displaced population and of refugees have been rising sharply, but until now the violence had hindered a full assessment of humanitarian needs. Despite the security risks, which hampers the access of humanitarian workers to people affected by the crisis, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) is working with its partner relief organisations to identify the most urgent needs and to deliver an efficient European humanitarian response.