During the 1990’s, Côte d'Ivoire was one of west Africa’s most stable and prosperous nations. However, since the 2002 attempted coup-turned-rebellion, the country has been divided in two. This has caused massive population displacement -- both internally and to neighbouring countries. It is estimated that some 800,000 people have been displaced since 2002.
There are fears that the fighting could trigger all-out civil war, which would destroy a cornerstone of the region's economy and have far-reaching humanitarian consequences going beyond the country’s borders. The prolonged crisis in Côte d'Ivoire has created a complex humanitarian emergency that has disrupted the country’s food security. Serious threats to the nation’s social and economic situation are leading to a steady decline in people’s living conditions and livelihoods.
The major causes of disrupted livelihoods are population displacement, persistent insecurity and lack of access to land - all resulting in the need for external assistance. Food vulnerability varies geographically, with the north and the west generally more at risk. In addition, the outbreak of avian influenza in April 2006, though rapidly contained, has affected many poultry farmers’ household income.
The dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan since August 2006 is feared to have caused vast health problems by endangering the environment and the food chain. A return to the pre-crisis food security situation can be ruled out for a long time to come. Even without a renewed outbreak of hostilities, there will be a gradual erosion of food security in several regions.
WFP activities in Côte d'Ivoire include relief as well as recovery, targeting individuals affected by displacement as well as other vulnerable populations in the south, the north and western parts of the country.