More than 300,000 people were displaced from their homes in the Ivory Coast and in neighbouring Liberia after fleeing the threat of violence following disputed election results in November 2010.
Overall, the conflict displaced more than one million people from their homes and forced around 135,000 refugees to flee to Liberia, with the UNHCR registering 46,000 refugees to Liberia in March 2011 alone. People made homeless by violence faced dire shortages of food, water, shelter, sanitation and protection. The majority of the displaced were children, many of whom were exposed to from disease and hunger.
Displaced people and refugees mostly sought shelter with relatives or in strangers’ homes, causing a major stress on local food supplies. Liberia experienced a near-exhaustion of food stocks, with families reducing their food consumption to one meal per day.
To cope with the influx of refugees coming over the border into Liberia, we installed water tanks, latrines and showers and flew in supplies for 70,000 people. Our focus was on Nimba, Grand Guedeh and Maryland counties, where most of the refugee camps were set up; we supplied 65,000 litres of clean water per day in the Bishop Ferguson transit centre. Our aid experts also moved into the Ivory Coast in response to the country’s escalating humanitarian crisis.