Immediate Response Emergency Operation Liberia 200227 (IRA) - Emergency Food Assistance to Ivorian Refugees and Vulnerable Host Population
The long delayed presidential election in Cote d’Ivoire, first conducted on 31 October 2010 and followed by a run-off on 28 November 2010, has generated conflicting and hotly disputed results which have deepened the crisis in the country and heightened tension to such a level that spates of violence have erupted and the prospect of violent conflict is now quite high. There are reports of food and other commodity shortages in the country, and people have started fleeing into neighboring states.
Due to its positioning vis-à-vis Cote d’Ivoire, coupled with its relative stability and a sizable international peacekeeping presence, Liberia is an attractive option for many fleeing Ivorians, a number of whom have since crossed the border into Liberia. By 20 December 2010, UNHCR and the Government refugee agency, LRRRC, had registered 10,936 of these people. Owing to the porous state of the 500 kilometer border between the two countries and considering that people on both sides of the border generally share the same ethnicities, there could be many more persons who have simply settled among their kinsmen and have not been registered. Liberia has already been hosting 6,871 Ivorian refugees from earlier phases of the Cote d’Ivoire conflict who are generally well integrated in the host communities in Nimba, Grand Gedeh and Maryland counties. It is apparent from the present level of influx into Liberia that population flows would be on a large scale if the current stalemate in Cote d’Ivoire persists or worsens. In response to the increasing influx, the Government of Liberia in collaboration with UN agencies (including WFP) and other partners constituted a rapid assessment mission to follow up on new arrivals, establish their numbers, and assess their condition and locations.
An inter-agency contingency plan prepared by the UN Country Team in Liberia for a response to refugee influx from Cote d’Ivoire has been activated. WFP’s component of the contingency plan is not resourced as it is mainly dependent on PRRO 108210 which currently faces resource challenges.