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.
- Camp populations of IDPs (6,900) and refugees (8,600) receive reduced general rations.
- Other IDPs, recent internal returnees, and other crisis-affected populations received general rations in the early emergency. They are now provided with food for work to facilitate their reinsertion/reinstallation.
- Vulnerable groups (31,800 individuals), such as severely and moderately wasted children, lactating and pregnant women, and hospital patients, are assisted by WFP through medical NGOs.
- Households experiencing short-term food insecurity during the lean season (13,500) receive up to three months of full general rations until the September/October harvest.
- Recovery elements include school feeding both in the north and south (545,000 primary school children) as well as food for training (4,200 households). In the north and west, food for work family rations are provided to volunteer teachers (2,760) as well as to social workers supplying basic services (1,500).
- Food for agriculture activities (19,600 households) include seed protection ration distributions in partnership with FAO and other local and international NGOs. In this joint programme with FAO, addition to a seed protection food ration, households also receive agriculture tools and seeds.
- WFP has initiated projects to confront HIV/AIDS in Côte d'Ivoire whereby WFP food complements anti-retroviral treatment and counselling provided by medical NGOs (2,760 families).