Humanitarian agencies see increasing activity on the Ivory Coast
Jan 6, 2011
As the Ivory Coast's political gridlock continues to create tension throughout the country, United Nations aid organizations are experiencing an influx of activity as refugees seek food and shelter.
According to the U.N. News Agency, UNICEF is currently delivering food aid and supplements to approximately 14,000 children with moderate acute malnutrition and 6,700 experiencing severe malnutrition. The U.N. refugee agency, or UNHCR, is constructing a refugee camp in Liberia to provide shelter to the tens of thousands of Ivorians currently seeking asylum.
The Ivory Coast has been experiencing a political crisis ever since Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down to
Alassane Ouattara after losing the electoral vote on November 28.
As of last week, UNHCR has registered over 18,000 refugees and estimates there are an average of 400-500 arriving each day, making it difficult for local communities to keep housing them. It has so far spent nearly $3 million and will require outside donations to continue, the news source reports.
According to the BBC, food prices have surged in the area recently, with sugar prices nearly tripling and beef and potato prices going up by 25 percent and 60 percent, respectively.