Following the second round of presidential elections in late 2010 where both candidates claimed victory, tension and violence grew into a full-fledged armed conflict in Cote d'Ivoire. In the chaos, hundreds of children lost contact with their families.
The International Committee of the Red Cross recently provided over 27,000 farmers and herdsmen with three-month food rations and special seed to generate rapid harvests. Communities living in the Tillaberi region, to the north of the capital Niamey, are among the most vulnerable in Niger. Farmers and herdsmen are facing recurrent food insecurity in a context of persistent drought. In recent years, livestock has been decimated and harvests have been insufficient to feed the population.
On 5 September, the ICRC together with the Libyan Red Crescent, distributed hygiene kits to 1000 Sub Saharan Africans who sought refuge in the military port of Sidi Bilal, west of Tripoli. They are staying in abandoned fishing boats. Food supplies will be delivered to them in the coming days by the Libyan Red Crescent.
Medical facilities before the conflict were functioning in Tripoli, but access to health care and life saving treatment became very difficult since the city was turned into a battlefield. Dozens of wounded people who urgently needed treatment did not receive it and died. Health-care workers often couldn''t access medical facilities due to the fighting. At the same time, hospitals and local clinics needed adequate medical supplies to be able to treat the many war wounded.
Entire villages have been destroyed and health-care centres looted in western Cote d'Ivoire. As an uneasy calm settles, thousands of refugees and internally displaced people want to return home yet there is little to return to.
2010 to 2011 have seen a major series of crises which have affected ever increasing numbers of people. Demand for humanitarian assistance has reached an unprecedented level at a time when long term conflicts continue unabated, according to the ICRC's Annual Report launched in Geneva today (26th May 2011).
As a result of the recent and ongoing fighting in Libya, unexploded weapons left from the conflict are a major hazard for the country's civilian population. Unexploded ordnance and armoured vehicles, including rockets, shells and mortars, are strewn across public places and residential areas in Misrata, Ajdabiya and Benghazi. The risk for civilians is high.
Today the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) evacuated more than 600 civilians from the city in western Libya. This was the fourth rotation of an ICRC-chartered boat to evacuate mainly foreign nationals stranded in dire conditions. In total the ICRC evacuated more than 2300 civilians mainly from Niger, Chad, Mali, Ghana, Sudan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Tunisia, and Morocco, in addition to Libyan nationals.
At a press conference in Geneva (31.03.11), ICRC head of operations Pierre Kraehenbuehl said that the situation in Cote d'Ivoire now amounted to an internal armed conflict, causing thousands of casualties and widespread displacements of population.