What are the needs?
Violence triggered by the 2010 elections left Côte d’Ivoire in disarray. Between December 2010 and May 2011 an estimated 3 000 Ivoirians were killed and up to 1.5 million people were forced to flee their homes in the capital Abidjan and the western regions of the country. While most refugees have returned, 80 000 Ivoirians have stayed behind in Liberia, Ghana and Togo.
Certain parts of Côte d’Ivoire continue to be volatile as a result of poverty, ethnic tensions and land disputes. Forced evictions of communities that were occupying forests and parks in the west of the country have added to the tensions and are dissuading refugees remaining in Liberia from returning. While the security situation has greatly improved in most regions, serious gaps remain in the provision of essential services such as health care.
How are we helping?
A new approach was taken by the EU in 2011, following the post-election crisis, in an attempt to facilitate the transition from humanitarian to development aid. An agreement between the European Commission’s humanitarian aid department (ECHO), the Commission’s Development & Cooperation department (EuropeAid) and the Ivoirian authorities gave rise to a Partnership for Transition.
The first phase of the Partnership contributed to restoring basic health services for some 2.2 million people most affected by the crisis, to improving their food security and fostering social cohesion. A second phase starts in 2014 and is made possible by a tripartite agreement between ECHO, France’s Development agency (AFD) and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. It will focus on supporting the government’s policy of targeted free health care for children under five, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women in an effort to reduce the country’s high child and maternal mortality rates.
ECHO also funds a programme aimed at assisting refugees and returnees on both sides of the Ivoirian-Liberian border.