Addressing the growing humanitarian crisis in Ivory Coast will require $160.4 million, according to a revised aid appeal issued by the United Nations on Friday (April 8). The sum represents a fivefold increase from the amount sought in the original appeal launched in January, worth $32.7 million.
The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said donations to the efforts as of Friday stood at $21.9 million. On the same day, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development pledged €1 million ($1.4 million) to aid Ivorian refugees.
The crisis in Ivory Coast stems from incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to hand over power to the internationally recognized winner of last year’s presidential election, Alassane Ouattara.
Social media at work
In Ivory Coast, a non-governmental organization has established an initiative that enables people caught in the crisis to seek help via Twitter, Facebook and a telephone hotline.
“Say you are in Abobo or Marcory neighbourhood and you have a patient or need food - you can beep, call or send an SMS to the number and our operator calls back or provides advice on where you can receive help,” Eric Agnissan, vice president of the CivSocial initiative creator, Akendewa, told Alertnet.
Requests for medical and food aid are the most popular, Agnissan said.
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