European Commission Increases Aid for Ivorian Refugees

Refugees from Ivory Coast at a tent camp in Duekoue. The European Commission is providing an additional €25 million in humanitarian aid for people affected by the crisis and violence in the country. Photo by: H. Caux / UNHCR

The European Comission is providing an additional €25 million ($35 million) in humanitarian aid for people affected by the crisis and violence in Cote d’Ivoire.

This brings the commission’s total humanitarian assistance for the country and Ivorians who have fled to Liberia to €30 million.

“The situation is rapidly deteriorating on the ground and this calls for an urgent and strong humanitarian response. In just a few weeks, the number of refugees has doubled and the number of displaced people has increased five-fold. There are at present an estimated 380,000 displaced persons and refugees,” EU aid commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said March 17 in a news release. “Today’s increase in aid will allow us to provide immediate relief to these people many of whom have fled unspeakable violence.”

At least 25 people were killed in the capital, Abidjan, on Thursday (March 17) after supporters of incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, whom the United Nations deemed to have lost last year’s election, shelled a market, according to the United Nations Operation in Côte d’Ivoire.

“The authors of these abusive acts, which constitute flagrant violations of human rights, will not remain unpunished,” UNOCI said in a statement, adding that it reserved the right “to take appropriate measures” to prevent such acts in the future.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.