WEST AND CENTRAL AFRICA Côte d'Ivoire
A girl receives food at a camp in the western town of Duékoué for people displaced by violence that followed the November 2010 presidential election. Stability has returned but basic health and education services remain severely hampered.
Children and Women in Crisis
The violence and unrest following the November 2010 presidential elections in Côte d’Ivoire left 3,000 dead1 and displaced almost 1 million people.2 An estimated 500,000 people have returned home but struggle to reclaim their lives in areas where the infrastructure crumbled in the upheaval.3 The crisis weakened not only the country’s infrastructure, but also its educational system, community and institutional child protection mechanisms. In addition, the overall health of an already vulnerable population suffered when outbreaks of polio and measles spread throughout the country, as access to health facilities was drastically reduced and essential drug supplies dwindled. More than 194,000 people, of whom 25,000 are in internally displaced person sites and camps, remain displaced;4 an additional 187,000 Ivorian refugees are in neighbouring countries, including 159,000 in Liberia.5 Among those at highest risk are the 440,000 people living with HIV in Côte d’Ivoire, including more than 50,000 children and some 22,000 women who are pregnant and HIV-positive.6
Meeting Urgent Needs in 2012
UNICEF is the lead agency for the WASH, education and nutrition clusters, as well as for the child protection sub-cluster. In 2012, UNICEF, in partnership with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and other international agencies, will assist 8 million people.
- UNICEF will target the overall health of 7 million children under 5 by focusing on high-impact interventions, including polio and measles campaigns, vitamin A supplementation and deworming.
- UNICEF will support the treatment of 12,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition at 20 inpatient and 200 outpatient centres and will promote healthy infant and young child feeding practices to about 100,000 caregivers.
- In order to reduce rates of diarrhoea, UNICEF will restore rural water supply services to benefit 200,000 internally displaced persons by strengthening management of water schemes and hygiene promotion. In total, 400,000 persons will benefit from sanitation promotion and community-based interventions, which will be combined with undernutrition interventions. The cholera containment and prevention programme will aim to reach 1 million people in Abidjan and in high-risk areas.
- UNICEF will support 20 temporary learning spaces at resettlement sites and formal schools through the provision of emergency education supplies and teacher training. UNICEF will rehabilitate and provide school supplies to at least 50 schools and support teachers in crisis-affected areas.
- UNICEF will strengthen identification, documentation, tracing and reunification systems with the inter-agency child protection information management system for more than 2,000 separated families, as well as strengthen psychosocial assistance for at least 30,000 children affected by the conflict. Child protection action networks will be strengthened for prevention of violence against children and for assistance to at least 1,500 child victims of violence and abuse.
- UNICEF will train and strengthen capacity building of community-based organizations to provide prevention and care services, including management of common illnesses at community level, active HIV screening among pregnant women, observance of drugs intake, and life-skills education on HIV and reproductive health, benefiting 500,000 adolescents and 500,000 women.
Humanitarian Funding at Work: Highlights from 2011
UNICEF had received half of the requested funding of US$22,383,121 as of end October, which enabled the improvement of the prospects of women and children, as seen in some key results.
In response to the polio and measles outbreaks, UNICEF reached all 7 million children under 5 with polio vaccinations during immunization campaigns, and all 467,000 children 6 months – 5 years old with measles vaccinations in 13 affected districts. Of 13,000 children treated for severe acute malnutrition, 78 per cent fully recovered. At least 6.5 million children benefited from deworming and vitamin A supplements. Additionally, 7 million insecticide-treated mosquito nets were distributed.
UNICEF also improved conditions for millions of the conflict-affected population through the construction of emergency toilets and showers, which benefited more than 500,000 people. In addition 530,000 internally displaced persons and returnees gained access to safe drinking water. At least 39,000 students were integrated into formal schools, and more than 20,000 children participated in education activities in temporary learning spaces. Ninety-seven per cent of schools reopened after the crisis, and 55 recreational and child-friendly spaces were established to provide psychosocial support to more than 10,400 children. UNICEF promoted essential family practices (exclusive breastfeeding, handwashing with soap, the use of insecticide-treated mosquito nets and the use of oral rehydration solution for diarrhea) to 8 million people as part of an accelerated child survival and development strategy.
Funding Requirements for 2012
UNICEF is requesting US$26,929,000 to continue its humanitarian work in Côte d’Ivoire. A shortfall in funding is likely to result in failure to respond effectively to the urgent needs of the country’s women and children, who are in a transitional phase after the post-election unrest.
1 United Nations, Twenty-eighth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire – S/2011/387, United Nations, New York, 24 June 2011, p. 9.
2 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, ‘A New Displacement Crisis in West Africa’, available at www.unhcr.org/pages/4d831f586.html.
3 OXFAM, Danish Refugee Council, CARE, ‘Towards Durable Solutions for Displaced Ivoirians: Joint Briefing Paper’, 11 October 2011, p. 5.
4 United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 'European tour to raise funds for humanitarian action in Côte d'Ivoire’, press release, OCHA, Geneva/Abidjan/New York, 19 October 2011.
5 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Côte d’Ivoire Situation Update No. 35’, UNHCR, Geneva, 10 October 2011, p. 3.
6 Secretariat, National AIDS Control Council, ‘National Report UNGASS, 2010 Côte d'Ivoire: January 2008 – December 2009’, National AIDS Control Council, Abidjan, March 2010, p. 13.