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Côte D'Ivoire: WFP Emergency Op Gets Food To Fleeing Ivorians

As political tensions continue to escalate in the Côte d'Ivoire, WFP has launched an emergency food operation in two countries to assist some 150,000 refugees who have the crossed the border into Liberia in addition to over 125,000 people displaced within Côte d'Ivoire itself.

ROME -- Amid widespread international concern about the turmoil in Côte d'Ivoire, WFP has taken the lead in providing food assistance to hundreds of thousands of Ivorians who have been displaced in their own country or sought refuge in neighbouring Liberia.

In January, WFP launched emergency operations in both countries to reach massive numbers of people uprooted by the unrest. In Côte d'Ivoire, WFP aims to assist 125,000 displaced people over six months with rations of cereals, pulses, corn-soya blend (CSB) and vegetable oil.

In Liberia, WFP is providing rations of bulgar, pulses, CSB and vegetable oil to 150,000 Ivorian refugees, along with 36,000 Liberians who have generously shared their limited resources with the refugees.

Ongoing challenges

Despite increasing security concerns and restrictions on UN movements, WFP has managed to distribute mixed food commodities to almost 29,000 displaced people in the west and centre of Côte d'Ivoire -- and to another 4,000 in the main city of Abidjan, which has witnessed some of the worst violence since the crisis began in November, 2010.

In Liberia, where the humanitarian response to the crisis is hampered by poor infrastructure, bad roads and difficulties in refugee registration, WFP has nonetheless reached 45,000 beneficiaries so far with mixed food commodities. But the relief operation remains challenging, with refugees scattered in more than 90 villages along a stretch of 300 kilometers of some of the most inaccessible parts of northern Liberia. 

WFP is also providing logistics and telecommunications support to the humanitarian community.

Funding shortfalls

As WFP aims to reach as many people as possible with food assistance during the ongoing crisis in the region, significant funding shortfalls threaten our ability to reach those in need in the coming months. The operation in Liberia faces a shortfall of US $16 million; the operation in Côte d'Ivoire faces a shortfall of US $11 million; and the logistics and telecommunications operations face a shortfall of US $2.5 million.