More on Côte d'Ivoire

What are the current issues in Côte d'Ivoire

As a consequence of the complex socio-political crisis that started in September 2002, Côte d'Ivoire has been experiencing a period of extended instability. The long-awaited November 2010 presidential elections intended to unify Côte d’Ivoire were deeply contested and resulted in political turmoil, causing violence and mass population displacement. An estimated 500,000 to 700,000 people were temporarily displaced within the country and in neighbouring countries, and the whole country felt the impact of the economic and political instability. The western region has been the worst affected with the highest levels of violence sparked from the clashing of the two military forces, causing displacement and the destruction of public and private assets.

Côte d’Ivoire has experienced more than 10 years of political and military crisis, punctuated by a brief armed conflict that divided the country in 2002. The long-awaited November 2010 presidential elections intended to unify the country were deeply contested and resulted in political turmoil, causing widespread violence and temporarily displacing 500,000 to 700,000 people within the country and in neighbouring countries. While the entire population felt the effects of economic and political instability, the western region has been hit the hardest, as violent clashes between two military forces has caused displacement and destroyed public and private assets. With a new government in place, the country is heading progressively towards reconciliation and stability, though insecurity and land tenure continue to threaten some areas, particularly in the West.

Côte d’Ivoire ranks 168 out of 186 countries in the 2013 UNDP Human Development Index, and over 23 percent of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day. Primary school enrolment remains low (50 percent), and the country has the highest rates of HIV in West Africa at 3.7 percent. A July 2012 nation-wide Demographic, Health and Multi-indicators Survey (EDSCI III) conducted by the Ministry of Health and AIDS control and partners revealed a national Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate among children 0-59 months of 7.1 percent (up from 5.4 percent in 2011), with the highest levels in the North-East region (11 percent), above the threshold considered “serious.” GAM rates are above “acceptable” levels in all but the Centre-North region.

In the fragile western part of the country, all IDPs are said to have returned to their places of origin. At the peak of the crisis, more than 220,000 Ivorians had fled to Liberia, but most have returned, according to UNHCR. Approximately 60,000refugees remain in Liberia.

What the World Food Programme is doing in Côte d'Ivoire

Through a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (Côte d’Ivoire 200464), WFP aims to save lives and livelihoods and promote the transition to recovery through activities such as:

  • Unconditional (food and cash) relief packages for vulnerable households, including returning refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs); 

  • Food/cash-for-assets programmes to assist vulnerable households;

  • Nutritional rehabilitation of children between 6 and 59 months as well as pregnant and nursing women;

  • Food support and cash assistance to clients following anti-retroviral therapy (ART); and

  • Cash for caretakers of severely malnourished children in therapeutic feeding units.

In September 2013, a new school meals development project (200465) began for primary school children formerly assisted under a PRRO. The Development Project supports the Integrated Programme for Sustainable School Feeding, which aims to raise school attendance rates in rural areas, particularly among girls, and to build the capacity of the National Directorate of School Feeding, ultimately allowing it to implement its sustainable school feeding programme.

The project has four main components: i) provision of a balanced daily school meal for 571,000 children to enhance attention spans and attendance; ii) distribution of a quarterly take-home ration or equivalent cash transfer for 25,000 girls in grades four and five with an attendance rate of at least 80 percent; iii) distribution of micronutrient powder for 102,000 schoolchildren in the district of Zanzan; and iv) capacity development for DNCS and local school feeding management committees. Coordination of action under the Global Partnership for Education is an essential component of the strategy.

WFP has been in Côte d’Ivoire since 1968.

Featured Côte d'Ivoire publications

  • Côte d'Ivoire: WFP Country Brief (PDF, 0 KB)

    A Country Brief provides the latest snapshot of the country strategy, operations, operational highlights (achievements and issues/challenges), partnerships and country background.

Looking for more publications on Côte d'Ivoire? Visit the Côte d'Ivoire publications archive.