Health, education, and economy severely affected by post-election crisis in Côte d’Ivoire
ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 24 February 2011- Health, agriculture, education and economy have been severely affected by Côte d’Ivoire’s post-electoral crisis, United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations announced today as they wrapped up an assessment of the crisis in the west, center and east of the country.
In the west, the health and education sectors have been severely affected as close to 90% of qualified medical staff and the majority of teaching staff are no longer reporting to work.
A shortage of essential medicine, a breakdown of the cold chain, and the absence of disease surveillance have raised the specter of a serious health crisis for thousands living in the area. In the western departments of Moyen Cavally and 18 Montagnes, some 180,000 children have still not resumed school since the crisis broke out two months ago.
Throughout the country, some 800,000 children are missing out on school. Due to the internal displacement of some 41,000 people - the majority of which is women and children-, food security could become difficult for thousands of households.
The lean season is expected to occur earlier than usual as a number of households have already sold or consumed next season’s seeds and crops, thus threatening future harvests. In the center and eastern regions, basic services are still functional, but the presence of some 2,500 IDPs who are currently living within host communities will have an impact on the financial resources of the households.
Education is acutely compromised because of political tensions between students, and since January some 4,000 have lost their school material due to violence.
The economic sanctions and the slowdown of economic activity, including unemployment and lost of revenue, are affecting the entire population. Local markets, notably food markets -a sector that mainly employs women- have witnessed an increase in the price of staple food items and other foods.
During the 9-day assessment mission that took place in 26 towns during mid-February, the multidisciplinary teams also highlighted the importance of strengthening conflict management and social cohesion mechanisms.
Efforts currently undertaken by local authorities need to be sustained in order to avoid communal violence and allow communities to live in peace.
"The impact of the post electoral crisis on civilian populations is severe and goes beyond displacement. I call on all the concerned parties to spare the vital sectors of health, food security, nutrition and education of the consequences of the crisis. There is an urgent need from the conflicting parties and international donors to support emergency aid programs", the Humanitarian Coordinator in Côte d’Ivoire, Ndolamb Ngokwey, said today.
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