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WFP resumes distributions in troubled Ivorian Coast town

WFP has this week resumed food distributions to around 13,000 refugees and internally displaced people in the Ivory Coast town of Guiglo, centre of violent protests against the UN last month.

We appeal to all concerned in Guiglo to provide a safe and secure environment for the return of our staff.
Abdou Dieng, WFP’s Country Director in Ivory Coast
WFP food distributions – which started on Monday - are being carried out by Catholic NGO Caritas and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) as the security situation remains too unpredictable for the return of WFP and UN staff, as well as other humanitarian organizations affected by the recent violence.

Assistance

In addition, Médecins sans Frontières has received food to support their work with malnourished children and the local Red Cross has fresh supplies for distributions to people affected by HIV/AIDS.

This assistance reaches a further 500 people.

“Ever since we were forced to close our operations in Guiglo, we’ve been looking at every possible option to make sure those who need our assistance still get it,” said WFP’s Country Director in Ivory Coast, Abdou Dieng.

“We are particularly grateful for the hard work and cooperation of all our partners in making it possible for these people to receive the food they need.,” he said.

Resuming distribution

The food being delivered to about 6,000 refugees by Caritas and 7,000 internally displaced people by IOM was dispatched last week from WFP warehouses in Abidjan, after stocks in Guiglo were looted in their entirety during the disturbances.

A total of 256 metric tons of food is being handed out – a 30-day ration including maize, corn-soya blend, pulses, oil and salt.

WFP operations in other parts of Ivory Coast have generally been able to resume since all activities came to a halt in the immediate aftermath of the protests.

Short-term measure

Distributions from the Bouaké, Korhogo and Man offices continue as normal.

Although operations in the south remain restricted, school feeding activities in collaboration with the Ministry of Education continue as well as the assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS in Bondoukou and Daloa.

However, the current solution to WFP’s absence from Guiglo is largely a short-term measure.

Future distributions will depend to a large degree on WFP being able to return to work as normal in the area.

“Most of the people receiving food this week are entirely dependent on WFP food for their day-to-day survival. We appeal to all concerned in Guiglo to provide a safe and secure environment for the return of our staff. We have no agenda other than our humanitarian mandate to provide assistance to those who need it,” said Dieng.