© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-2469/Kamber

A girl carries a bowl in a market in Adjamé, a poor neighbourhood in the city of Abidjan. Ongoing conflict, including violently disputed national elections, have exposed children and women to exploitative labour and sexual violence.

Children and women in crisis

The difficulties of children and women in Côte d’Ivoire are linked to continuing fallout from the internal conflict that engulfed parts of the country from 2002–2007 and shattered the social cohesion of the country’s 20.6 million citizens. All parties to that conflict have maintained an armed presence in the country, leaving women and children particularly vulnerable to sexual violence, prostitution and exploitative labour. The November 2010 post-presidential election period brought a return of volatility and serious tensions. Several violent incidents that occurred are symptomatic of the deterioration in Côte d’Ivoire’s political climate. The risks for escalation of tensions are significant.

It has been estimated that at least 500,000 displaced persons remain in the country, and those who return to their homes, particularly in western Côte d’Ivoire, frequently encounter conflict over land they had left.1 With around 49 per cent of the population living under the national poverty line,2 humanitarian need is also rooted in poverty – and compounded by periodic natural disasters, such as the floods that occurred in Abidjan in June 2010, affecting 1,000 households.

Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011

UNICEF currently is the lead agency for the WASH and nutrition sectorial groups, and is co-lead for education with Save the Children. In partnership with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, other UN agencies and NGOs, UNICEF will assist 6.9 million people in 2011, including 4 million children.

Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010

UNICEF was able to achieve a number of gains for children and women affected by emergencies in Côte d’Ivoire during 2010. Nearly 9,000 children with severe acute malnutrition were treated in outpatient units and another 1,200 in therapeutic feeding centres. Over 5.5 million children under age 5 received deworming treatment and about 6.1 million were given vitamin A supplements. At least 12,000 people gained access to drinkable water, 28 villages were declared free of open defecation, and 1,400 households gained access to latrines. UNICEF helped cultivate emergency preparedness within the education sector through capacity building for 30 government education administrators. More than 60 survivors of sexual violence, mostly girls, were provided with medical and psychosocial support as well as legal counselling.

Funding requirements for 2011

UNICEF is requesting US$5,541,000 for its humanitarian work in Côte d’Ivoire in 2011, to assist children and women as they cope with the aftermath of years of armed conflict. UNICEF has aligned its request with the 2011 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) requirements.

More information on achievements of 2010 and the humanitarian action planned for Côte d’Ivoire in 2011 can be found at www.unicef.org/hac2011 or the country office web site at www.unicef.org/cotedivoire.

1 Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, ‘Côte d’Ivoire: Quest for durable solutions continues as the electoral process moves forward’, IDMC Norwegian Refugee Council, Geneva, 22 September 2010, pp. 1, 4.
2 Institut national de la statistique, ‘Enquête sur le niveau de vie’ [Survey of household wealth], INS, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 2009.
3 Akwaba, Animation rurale de Korhogo (ARK), Association de Soutien a l’Auto-promotion sanitaire (ASAPSU), Caritas Abidjan and Caritas Man.

UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $5,541,000