Action Against Hunger Reinforcing Efforts in Ivory Coast Town Following Massacre
DUÉKOUÉ, IVORY COAST—Action Against Hunger | ACF International is reinforcing its emergency response following the massacre of hundreds in the town of Duékoué between March 27th and 29th. Conditions in western Ivory Coast have reached a new level of urgency as thousands of displaced families face a public health crisis amid deteriorating sanitary conditions and increasing rates of malnutrition. Action Against Hunger | ACF International, working in the country since 2002, is deploying additional teams and emergency supplies this week.
On the ground in Duékoué, François Danel, Executive Director of ACF’s office in France, said "This is a dramatic repeat of the 2005 massacres. Eyewitnesses have told me that hundreds of people were massacred.”
Ivory Coast’s entire western region has been affected by conflict and insecurity. "It is essential to ensure an early presence of the international community," insists Danel. “Because of fighting, tens of thousands of people have fled their homes. Between the cities of Man and Duékoué many villages are completely empty, some burned to the ground. People have fled into the bush or over the border in to neighboring Liberia.”
Many have taken refuge in the local Catholic mission, where between 20,000 and 30,000 people – mostly women and children – are crowded into a small area without shelter. “The situation here is horrific,” reports Danel. With the rainy season approaching, ACF fears that living conditions could deteriorate rapidly and create a public health disaster for thousands of displaced, vulnerable people.
Additional teams and supplies will arrive this week as Action Against Hunger expands emergency efforts in Duékoué, Danane, and Man. ACF is already constructing latrines and distributing water filters and hygiene supplies for displaced families in the region.
Action Against Hunger’s emergency programs in Ivory Coast are supported by UNICEF, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the European Commission’s Office of Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO).