What are the needs?
Côte d'Ivoire is in the final stages of steady recovery following the post-electoral crises of 2010-2011 which resulted in widespread looting and destruction, collapse of essential public services and the displacement of populations. More than 95% of the 250 000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have returned to their places of origin, and approximately 220 000 Ivoirians who took refuge in the neighbouring countries have come back. Today, the remaining number of refugees stands at approximately 60 000, the vast majority (35 000) living in eastern Liberia.
However, despite the rapid recovery and the considerable improvement of the humanitarian situation, some gaps remain in the provision of essential services between phasing out of humanitarian aid and longer term development assistance. Some persisting pockets of instability continue to exist, particularly in the traditionally volatile western Côte d'Ivoire, where most of violence related to the post-electoral crisis took place.
The post-electoral violence left most of the health structures, already dysfunctional prior to the crisis, badly damaged, lacking proper infrastructure, medical supplies and essential drugs. The revitalisation of the health system is being slower and access to basic health care, particularly for women and children, remains difficult. A functioning and financially accessible public health service is needed in order to curb maternal and infant mortality and to improve access to quality health care for the most vulnerable population.
How are we helping?
After an initial €60 million multi-sector emergency response to the 2010-11 post-electoral crisis, a new approach was taken by the EU in late 2011, to facilitate the transition from humanitarian aid to development assistance. An agreement between the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and the International Cooperation and Development department (DEVCO) with the Ivoirian authorities gave rise to the 'Partnership for Transition'. During 2012 and 2013, through this partnership, 2.2 million Ivoirians were able to benefit from basic health care, food assistance, protection or livelihoods support.
Since 2013, ECHO is working together with the Ivorian government and the French Cooperation Agency (AFD) to consolidate the results of the Partnership for Transition in particular in the health sector allowing greater access to health care for all children under five and for pregnant and breastfeeding women in the regions most affected by the post-electoral conflict. Within the same partnership, in 2014, €2.5 million were released to enhance the country preparedness against Ebola.
The EU is also supporting a trans-border project covering the communities living in the unstable area that lies along the Ivoirian-Liberian border. This action aims at enhancing the resilience and protection of the population and providing small-scale emergency response whenever security issues and crises occur.