The conflict in Ivory Coast is putting the security of neighbouring Liberia at risk, whilst the expanding humanitarian crisis caused by the fighting has created 120,000 refugees in Liberia, nearly half of whom are receiving little or no aid.
Armed combatants had fled from Ivory Coast into Liberia, which left the country’s border towns tense and volatile. Most refugees from Ivory Coast are still in the border area and the movement of refugees to camps (necessary for them to be eligible to receive UN and government assistance) has been very slow, with only 3,775 refugees relocated so far.
Around 66,000 refugees have not yet received any aid.
In addition the UN appeals for the humanitarian situation are very underfunded, with the Ivory Coast appeal only 15 per cent funded and the Liberia appeal only 26 per cent funded.
Korto Williams, head of ActionAid Liberia, said:
“The crisis in Ivory Coast is having far-reaching consequences, including a big impact on Liberia.
“So far the overall response in Liberia has been slow and tens of thousands of refugees are stranded in border towns. ActionAid is very worried that with the rainy season fast approaching it vital to put measures in place so we can get aid and supplies to these people, even if the weather is bad. They urgently need water, food and medical care.
“The international community urgently needs to focus some attention on West Africa and ensure the humanitarian response is properly funded. The Liberian government and the UN need to increase their presence in the volatile border region to protect refugees.
“We’re also very concerned about the safety of women and girls, and urge the international community to ensure they put adequate resources into protecting them.”
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photo : ©ActionAid