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Commissioner Georgieva greatly concerned about escalating humanitarian crisis in the Côte d’Ivoire

Ivorian refugees in Liberia at a distribution centre for emergency non-food items © EU/Koen Henckaerts
29/03/2011  - 

The ongoing armed conflict in the Côte d’Ivoire is escalating by the day and already a massive humanitarian crisis. The European Commission was one of the first aid donors to provide help to those afflicted, many of whom are fleeing violence, are in distress and in urgent need for food, water, medical care and shelter. Commissioner Georgieva is concerned about the conflict's growing number of victims and the restricted access that humanitarian workers have to those who need relief.

The European Union is the largest donor of humanitarian aid to the victims of the Côte d’Ivoire crisis, providing €30m to help Ivorians inside the country, as well as refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries, in particular Liberia.

Alongside the humanitarian challenges posed by the huge number of displaced people, the Commissioner is worried by the limited access to food for many Ivoirians. Another concern is the spread of cholera, which is symptomatic of the overall worsening of the health situation in the Côte d’Ivoire.

Relief experts from the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) have been in the Côte d’Ivoire assessing the situation to the extent possible, and liaising with humanitarian partners. The bulk of refugees from the Côte d’Ivoire are in neighbouring Liberia, where an ECHO office is monitoring and catering for their humanitarian needs. ECHO experts are in constant contact with major partner organisations, including specialised agencies of the United Nations.